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In tfie atitfton'sfli ®rrgion; 





VOL. V. 










In the age of Isaiah, Prophecy received new functions and ampler proportions. . AU the Prophets 
from the beginning were animated by the Spirit of Christ *, and prophesied of Him. " To Him 
give all the Prophets witness * ;" and therefore, as one well said of old, all the Prophets lived " a 
Christ- ward life ^ being filled with His grace ; and being His disciples, illumined by His Spirit, 
waited for Him their Teacher." 

The primeval prophecy delivered by God Himself to Adam immediately after ihe Fall, pre- 
announced the future struggle between Good and Evil, and foretold that the power of the Evil One 
would be bruised by the Seed of the woman *. It was repeated in succeeding generations with ever- 
growing clearness. It sounded forth in Enoch, " the seventh from Adam," foretelling the Judgment 
to come ' ; it spake in Noah, predicting the blessedness of Shem, in whose tents the Lord God would 
take up His abode ^. It declared, that in the seed of Abraham, which would " be called in Isaac," 
" all families of the earth should be blessed ' ;" and that Abraham should be " the heir of the World 
through faith." It sang a new song in the Patriarch Jacob, proclaiming with his dying voice the 
glory of Shiloh, who would arise from Judah ®. It declared the office of the Messiah, as the Great 
Prophet, by Moses " ; and it broke forth with a voice of power even from the unwilling lips of 
Balaam, standing on the top of Peer and looking toward Jeshimon, and on Israel encamped there ; 
and it celebrated the future splendours and conquests of the " Star that would come out of Jacob, 
and of the Sceptre that should rise out of Israel," and would possess universal dominion, and destroy 
all the foes of the faithful people of God ^°. 

With still greater force and clearness it saluted David, the son of Jesse and " the man after 
God's own heart," and gave him an assurance from God that " his house and his kingdom and 
throne should be established for ever before him "." God revealed by Nathan the Prophet that 
Christ would come of the seed of David, and that David would reign for ever in Him. The sweet 
Psalmist of Israel was also enabled by the Holy Spirit to celebrate the Incarnation '^ and Birth, 
the Sufferings '*, Death, Resurrection ** and Ascension ^*, Kingdom, and Priesthood *®, of Him Who 
was to arise from him according to the flesh ; and the graces and glory of the Church, His Bride, 
the Queen at His right hand, united in mystical wedlock with Him '^ ; and to foretell the pouring 
forth of the Holy Spirit on the Church, going forth from Sion to enfold the world '^. This glorious 
vision was revealed even in greater splendour to Solomon '^ 

At this point there was a temporary pause and lull in the exercise of the predictive functions of 

A treasure of prophetic oracles had been now stored up in the Pentateuch, and in the 
revelations to David, and to the sons of Korah and Asaph, and to Solomon, in that portion of the 
Psalter which was then written ; and this supplied food for the faith and hope of the people 
of God. 

]3e3ide3, the Temple had now been built ; its Pitual had now been established ; its yearly 
Festivals brought all the tribes of Israel together continually to one religious centre at Jerusalem. 

> 1 Pet. I. 11. 9 Deut. xviii. 15—18. Acts iii. 22; vii. 37. 

« Actsx. 4,3. Cp. Lnke i. 70; xxiv. 25. 44. Acts iii. 18. '" Num. xxiv. 15—19. 

21. 24. 112 Sam. vii. 16. 19. 25—29 ; and cp. Ps. Isxxix. 

3 S. Ignatius, Ad Magnes. c. 8, and c. 9. »' See above on Ps. Ixxii. and Introd. to Canticles. 

< Gen. iii. 15. « Jude 14. « Qen. ix. 27. " Pg. xxii. 9. '^ Ps. xvi. 10. 

^ Gen. xii. 3; xviii. 18; xxii. 18; xxvi. 4; xxviii. 14. Cp. '^ Pg. xxiv. le Ps. ex. 

Acts iii. 25. Gal. iii. 8. i7 Ps. xlv. 's See on Ps. Ixviii. 

8 See on Gen. xlix. 8—12. is See above, on Ps. Ixxli.; uud cp. on Ps. Ixxxvii. 



The Temple Itself was a Prophecy ; its Sacrifices, its Rites and Ceremonies, foreshadowed the futurr *, 
they had evangelical functions — they preached Christ. 

But to foretell the future was only one part of the prophetic office. The ministry of the goodly 
fellowship of the Prophets was not only prospective but retrospective ; they were Teachers of the 
Present, not only by foretelling the Future, but by reminding it of the Past\ This didactic 
function of the Hebrew Prophets was exercised in recalling the attention of the People to the Moral 
Law, promulgated by God on Mount Sinai, and in reproving them for their violations of it and 
defections from it ; and in reminding them of God's mercies to their fathers and to themselves, and 
in rebuking them for their unthankfulness. It was more and more developed in proportion as they 
swerved more and more from the faith and worship of God after the schism of Jeroboam, severing 
Israel from Judah, and after the introduction of the Sidonian idolatry of Baal, imported into Israel 
by Jezebel the wife of Ahab. 

In the days of the Judges, and when the Priesthood had been polluted by the sins of Eli's 
sons, and the Ark of God was taken, and Shiloh was destroyed ; and when, after the Ark's return, 
it was severed from the Tabernacle ; and in the succeeding reign of Saul, who fell away from 
God, Prophecy had this comminatory character in Samuel. The degeneracy of Priests and Rulers 
awoke its stern denunciations *. It did not occupy itself so much with revelations of the Future, 
as in the reformation of the Present by recollections of the Past. It endeavoured, if we may so 
speak, to bring Israel back to Horeb, to listen to the terrors of the Law sounding forth in peals 
of thunder, and with flashes of lightning and vapour of smoke, and denouncing woe on the 

Such especially was the office of the great Prophet Elijah the Tishbite, in the days of Ahab 
To bring back the heart of the children to the fathers was his work \ " Hear me, Lord, hear 
me," was his prayer, when he stood alone on Carmel amid four hundred and fifty priests of Baal, 
" that this people may know that Thou art the Lord God, and that Thou hast turned their heart back 
again*." Elijah was a second Moses ; Carmel became another Sinai. 

The prophetic work of the Divine Word in Elijah was continued by God working in Elisha, 
after his going up into heaven, and foreshadowed the operations of the Incarnate Word working in 
His holy Apostles after His Ascension *. 

Hence we recognize the reason why Elijah and Elisha were enabled by God to work miracles, 
which have dazzled some by their splendour, number, and power, and have even been encountered 
and gainsaid by uncritical scepticism®. Why (it is asked) should Elijah and Elisha the Prophets be 
supposed to have worked miracles, when we hear of no miraculous powers being claimed by suc- 
ceeding Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel ? 

Let us discriminate times, and we shall harmonize actions ; and Wisdom wiU be justified of her 

The prophetic mission of Elijah and Elisha was designed to avouch the Divine origin of the 
Mosaic Law, and to revive it in its pristine vigour, as a moral Code obligatory on the Hebrew 
Nation. In this respect there is a striking difierence between Elijah and Elisha and the Hebrew 
Prophets who followed them — Joel, Jonah, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, 
Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zephaniah, Daniel, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi. None of these Prophets (as 
far as we know) worked miracles, properly so called, as Elijah and Elisha had done. 

Elijah and Elisha were enabled to work miracles because their prophetic office consisted, 
not so much in foretelling the future, as in authenticating the past, and in recalling the people 
to it. 

The succeeding Prophets did not ivorh miracles, but (if we may so say) they spoke miracles ; 
that is, their divine mission was proved by the immediate fulfilment of some of the prophecies which 
they uttered ^ and this fulfilment was a pledge and earnest that their other prophecies concerning 

J Tliis is well expressed by S. Bippolytus, in his recently Introd. to the Books of Kings, p. x ; and Prelim. Note to 

discovered Treatise, the " Philosophumena," p. 337: "After 1 Kings xvii. ^ 

Moses, righteous men were born, beloved of God, who were ^ Cp. Mai. iv_. 5, 6. 

called Prophets, because they foretold the future ; to whom * 1 Kings xviii. 37. 

the Word came, not of one time only, but through all genera- ^ gee above, on 2 Kings ii. 9—24; v. 1—19. 

tions the voices of things spoken before were manifestly present ^ See above, Introd. to Kings, p. x ; Frelim. Note to 1 Kings 

to them, not only when they gave answers to persons who con- xvii. ; and on 1 Kings ii. 17. 

suited them, but in every age they pre-announced what would 7 e. g. Isaiah's prophecy concerning Hczekiah's perfect re- 
happen hereafter, and reciting what was fast, they reminded covery in three days from " a sickness unto death," and the 
mankind of its duty." Cp. what iS'. Hippolytus also says on extension of his life iov fifteen years, and the destruction of the 
the same subject (De Anti-Christo, § 2). Assyrian army in the third year. See above, 2 Kings xx. 5; 

2 See above, Introd. to the Books of Samuel, p. xivj and and cp. below, on Isa. xxxviii. ; xaA. Prelim. Note ; and note 


distant events would be fulfilled also * ; and in many instances their divine mission was avouclied 
by Grod Himself by signal interventions in their behalf ^ 

The circumstances of time and place in which the Prophets respectively were raised up 
to execute their office, and the results arising therefrom, afford additional evidence of God's 
presence with them, and of His working in them. 

Consider Isaiah. 

He prophesied at Jerusalem for more than sixty years, from about 760 B.C. (namely, seven 
years before the foundation of Rome) to about 698 B.C. Providentially, Isaiah was called to the 
prophetic office lefore the destruction of the kingdom of Israel *. He had therefore a vast future 
before him. The kingdom of Syria was still standing, but that Monarchy was soon about to fall*. 
Assyria was rising to the zenith of its glory ; Egypt was its rival in the south ; Babylon was in 
the far-off future. 

Observe, therefore, Isaiah's prophetic position. 

He was at Jerusalem, the religious centre of Israel and Judah. Judah itself is called in 
Scripture " the midst of the Nations ^" On the north-east was Assyria, and after it Babylon ; on 
the north were the kingdoms of Israel and Syria, and the rich commercial city Tyre on its island 
rock, the Queen of the Seas ; on the east and south-east were Ammon, Moab, and Edom, connected 
by community of origin with Israel, but Israel's bitter foes, — and further to the south-east the 
desert of Arabia, where his fathers had wandered ; and on the south-west was Philistia, Judah's 
near neighbour and inveterate enemy ; on the south was the great kingdom of Egypt, distinguished 
by arts and arms, and ever and anon making hostile inroads into Judah, or allurmg W, to court its 
alliance as a defence against its northern enemy Assyria ; and still further south, the tribes of 
Ethiopia, stately in stature ^, and renowned and feared for their warlike prowess. 

Isaiah looked forth on these empires and kingdoms from his watch-tower in Zion ; he contem- 
plated them as a divine Astronomer, with his prophetic telescope, from his spiritual Observatory ; 
and he was enabled by the Spirit of God to foretell the rising and setting of all these stars and 

He looked down also upon what was at his feet, " the Yalley of Vision " as it is called, Jeru- 
salem ', and he foretold her destiny. And far beyond all these he beheld and described the dread 
transactions of the Day of Doom^. 

This he has done in a series of prophecies, beginning with the thirteenth chapter ', and reaching 
to the end of the twenty-seventh. 

Let us consider the spiritual results of these prophecies concerning the kingdoms of this world. 

He thus refuted the prevalent notion of heathenism, according to which the several kingdoms 
of eailh were governed by tutelary, local deities ; and he has shown that all the Empires of the world 
are under the government of the One Supreme God Who was worshipped at Jerusalem, and Who 
enabled Isaiah to foresee and to foretell their future destinies. 

He has shown also that this One Supreme Governor of all the Nations of the Earth is a moral 
Governor ; and that He rules according to that immutable Code of Morality which is co-existent 
with His own eternal divine attributes, and is an emanation from them ; and which was given to 
man at the beginning in Paradise, and which was re-published in the Law delivered on Mount 
Sinai, and which has been promulgated to the world with greater fulness and clearness, and with 
higher and more authoritative sanctions, in Christianity. 

He declared that the approaching destruction of the Kingdom of Israel by the hand of Assyria 
was the consequence of its rebellion against Him ; and, beyond that, he foretold the Captivity of 

t a xxxvii. 30. Tlie prophecies of Jeremiah and Ezekiel with proved, otherwise his prophecies would never have been received 

regard to the time and circumstances of au impending event, — as divine by the Ancient Hebrew Church, and have been read 

the destruction of Jerusalem, — in opposition to the predictions as such in her synagogues), credence would be gained for his 

of all their contemporary false prophets, were similar proofs oUier projihecies concerning distant events. 
of their divine commission 2 As in the case of Jonah, Jeremiah, and Daniel, in addition 

1 It will be found that Isaiah, — in full confidence in his own to the other evidence by interpretation of dreams. 
divine inspiration, — after having delivered a prophecy concern- ' Destroyed by Sargon, King of Assyria, B.C. 721. See on 

ing some distant event, such as the destruction of Jerusalem, 2 Kings xvii. 4. 

or of Tyre, or of Babylon, introduces another prophecy relating 
lo something which he asserts to be near at hand. See xvi. 14; 

B.C. 740. 2 Kings xvi. 9. 
* Ezek. V. 5 ; xxxviii. 12, " The navel of the earth.' 

\x. 3, 4j xxii. 15 — 25; xxxvii. 30. And thus he stakes the credit ^ See on xviii. 2. 7. 

of his prophetic character on something by which it would 7 See on xxii. 1. 

speedily be tested; and by means of which, when it had been s ^xiv. — xxvii. 

tried and proved (and we may be sure that it was so tested and ^ Called " the Massas, or Burdens." See on xiii. 1. 


Judah by Babylon, and he manifested that Captivity in its true light as a penal visitation for Judah's 
apostasy from Him. 

Thus, on the one hand, Isaiah rescued Israel and Judah from the error of supposing that 
Assyria and Babylon, in conquering them, had conquered their God. 

On the other hand, he warned those heathen Nations against such a presumptuous supposition ; 
and he proclaimed to the world, that Assyria, and Babylon, and all the mightiest Empires of the 
earth, are only instruments in God's hand for executing His own purposes, and for manifesting 
His glory, and for punishing those who rebel against Him. 

By revealing also the future fall of those proud Monarchies, he has given a solemn warning to 
all Nations, that if men and States imagine that what they do is done by their own might ; and if 
they magnify themselves, instead of glorifying and adoring God, then they will be shattered in 
pieces, like brittle vessels of clay, by the iron rod ' of Him Who uses them as His servants and 
vassals for vindicating His own honour, and for displaying His Almighty power, and the supremacy 
of His Divine Law. 

He showed, also, that this One Supreme Moral Governor, the God of Nature and the God of 
Israel, and the God of all earthly empires, does every thing here on earth with a view to one great 
end and beneficent purpose, namely, the manifestation of His mercy and love to all Nations, both 
Jew and Gentile, in Christ. He has taught the great truth, that God is ever controlling and 
directing all things, by inscrutable means and hidden agencies, toward the establishment of His 
kingdom of grace here, and the consummation of His kingdom of glory hereafter. 

Thus, for example, Isaiah represents the future humiliation of Ethiopia and Egypt, and of 
Assyria, as a merciful dispensation to them, designed with this view, that they may not trust in 
themselves, or in their own local deities, but may look to the Lord of Hosts, Who is worshipped 
at Jerusalem, and Whose dispensations are crowned in Christianity ^. 

The prophecies of Isaiah reach from his own age, not only to the First Advent of Immanuel ', 
God with us, Yery God and Very Man, Whose Name will "be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The 
Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace *," but also to His Second Coming. 

Not only does Isaiah pre-announce Christ's rising from the stem of Jesse, when that stem was 
hewn down to its roots * ; not only does he speak of His unction by the Holy Ghost ^ and of His 
Ministry in Galilee ^ and of the glorious light kindled by His rising ; not only does he describe His 
miracles of mercy — the eyes of the blind opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped, and the lame 
man leaping as an hart^, and the desert rejoicing and blossoming as the rose"; not only does he 
paint in beautiful colours the tender love of Christ's pastoral care " ; not only does he portray His 
Death and Passion with the clearness of an Evangelist, and declare its salutary eflPects with the 
wisdom of an Apostle ", and reveal the grace and glory of the Church Universal flowing forth from 
the Cross of Christ ^^ and the fruitfulness of Zion, the mother of all Christendom '^ 

He does this and more ; he rises on an eagle's wings from the graces of Christ's First Advent 
to the glories of His Second Appearing. To the Spirit Who speaks in him, a thousand years are 
but as one day. And to the Prophet who is inspired by Him, the First Advent of Christ is, as it 
were, the eve of the Second Advent ; and the glories of the Second Advent of Christ coming to 
judge, are, as it were, the to-morrow's dawn of the graces of the First Advent of Christ coming 
to save. Therefore, as soon as the Prophet catches a glimpse of Christ's Incarnation, he sees 
at once, as with a lightning's glance, all the brightness of the Church triumphant revealed to 
nis eye. 

Hence it is difficult sometimes to draw a line between what portion of a prophecy belongs to 
the First Advent, and what belongs to the Second '*. Isaiah beholds with his prophetic eye 
Jerusalem laid in the dust ; but he also sees it spiritualized and transfigured, and stretching itself 
forth to embrace the world in the arms of the Gospel of Christ. Christ is the promised Seed 
of Abraham and of David ; and the Gospel of Christ goes forth by the ministry of the Apostles 
filled with the Holy Ghost, from Zion even unto the ends of the earth. The material Temple of 
Jerusalem is dissolved, but the Church Universal rises on its ruins. The Prophet sees Zion desolate 
as a ploughed field, and yet lifted up " above the top of the mountains, so that all Nations flow 
into it " (ii. 2), and rising at last from earth to heaven with a glorious Ascension. The material 

Ps. ii. 9. 6 Ixi. 1—2. 7 ix. 1. 8 xxxv. 6. 

" Seexviii. 7; xix. 23. Cp. also xvi. 1, with respect to Moab ; ^ xxxv. 1. i" xl. 11. ^^ liii. 1 — 12. 

and xxiii. 17, 18, witb regard to Tyre. ^- liv. 1—17; Iv. 1—13; Ix. 1—22. 

3 vii. 14. * ix. 6. 5 xi. 1. i3 ii. i_5; xl. 9—11; lii. i* See Ixv. 17— Ixvi. 24. 


fabric on Zion melts away, by an almost imperceptible process of absorption, into tbe eternal splen- 
dours of the heavenly City. 

The general Resurrection and the Day of Judgment are unfolded to his view ; and the eternal 
joys of the righteous, and the eternal misery of the ungodly, to whom he declares, with the 
reiterated tones of a solemn alarum, " There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked ;" " There 
is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked^ ;" "Their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be 
quenched ^." 

The fulfilment of Isaiah's prophecies concerning events near at hand, which were beyond all 
power of human foresight — such for example as the overthrow of the combined Powers of Eg}^t and 
Ethiopia (to which Judah had looked for help against Assyria), within a certain fixed time '; such, 
again, as the prophecy of the still more wonderful destruction of the victorious army of Assyria 
itself*, when, elated with its conquests, and confidently anticipating an easy triumph, it returned to 
Jerusalem — these and other similar predictions proved to King Hezekiah, and to his contemporaries, 
the divine mission of Isaiah *. His inspiration was further avouched and manifested by the fulfilment 
of his other prophecies — such as that concerning the siege and capture of Babylon, and the name of 
its conqueror, Cyrus, and the deliverance and restoration of Judah, which he foretold would be 
effected by him, after his conquest of Babylon, and the overthrow of that Power which had destroyed 

The name Isaiah signifies Salvation of Jehovah' ; and a more appropriate name coidd not have 
been given him. The contents of his prophecies may be summed up in this word. They all look 
forward to the Salvation wrought by Jehovah in Christ. Isaiah, whose mission from God has 
been proved by the fulfilment of his prophecies, makes all his prophecies to converge toward Christ, 
and they are all concentrated and consummated in Him. This fact shows the paramount importance 
of Christianity. It proves that the Gospel holds the first place in the counsels of the Divine Mind, 
in its dealings with man ; and it shows the necessity of embracing the Gospel, and displays the great 
peril of despising it. The dignity and glory of the Gospel as revealed by Isaiah, and the unspeak- 
able solemnity of the future retribution of the Great Day, and its everlasting consequences for weal 
or woe, display its imperative claims on the allegiance of men and Nations. 

The divinely inspired Prophet passes immediately onward, from speaking of the overthrow of 
Sennacherib and the sudden destruction of the Assyrian army by the fiery blast in the valley of 
Tophet ^, beneath the southern walls of Jerusalem, to speak of the " everlasting burnings ' " which 
are prepared for God's enemies in the " lake of fire," of which that valley of Hinnom was a type. 
And after predicting the marvellous overthrow of the impious and blasphemous Ass3^rian, rushing 
onward in his furious course, against the majesty of the God of Israel, he proceeds to foretell the 
prostration of all Infidel and Antichristian Powers, symbolized by Sennacherib ". 

In like manner, after predicting the conquests of Cyrus and his capture of Babjdon, and his 
liberation of the captive Jews, and the promulgation of his decree for the restoration of the Temple 
at Jerusalem, he bursts forth into a rapturous ecstasy, and echoes the voice of the Baptist, wafted to 
him from the far-off future, and places before the eye the form of that noble herald of a more 
glorious victor}', and of a more blessed return and restoration, " Prepare ye the way of the Lord ; 
Make straight in the desert an highway for our God^"." He is transported over an interval of 
seven hundred years, and proclaims the conquests of Christ, and His triumph over His enemies, and 
the liberation of exiled Israel, and the emancipation of a captive World, from the bondage of Sin 
and Satan ; and the building up of the Temple of the Church Universal, and the restoration of all 
true Israelites to their Father's home in Christ ; and the everlasting felicity reserved for all who 
believe, love, and obey Him. 

To Isaiah's mind, all earthly retributions and all earthly restorations, vanish into utter 
insignificance in the presence of the Judgment Seat of Christ. 

Isaiah thus teaches, that the God of Nature, the God of the Mosaic Law, the God of Nations, 
and the God of the Gospel, is one and the same God, and that all His dispensations are consummated 
in Christ. 

The prophecies of Isaiah extend over more than twenty-five centuries. They reach from hvs 
own age to the Day of Doom. 

1 xlviii. 22; Ivii. 21. 2 Ixvi. 24. six. 20; xx. 1, as showing Isaiah's courage produced hy his 

3 See XX. 1 — 6. * See xxxvii. 36. divine mission. 

5 The celiance of King Hezekiah on Isaiah the Prophet, when * Literally, of Jahti, an ahbreviatod form of Jehovah. 

all other helps had failed him, is a signal proof of the effect " See on xxx. 33. ^ See on xxxiii. 14. 

produced by Isaiah's prophecies. See 2 Kings xix.'l — 5. Cp. ^ See xxvi. 19— 21; xxvii. *° xl. 3. 

Vol. V. Paet I. a 


The "World is witness to tteir Truth, " Liber noster est Orbis terrarum, in quo lego completum, 
quod in libro Dei promissum \" Isaiah's prophecies concerning the abortive issue of the godless 
leao-ue of Israel with Sj^ria against Judah and the house of David *, and concerning the destruction 
of the Kingdoms of Syria and Israel within a fixed time ^ — his predictions of the overthrow of the 
forces of Egypt and Ethiopia combined against Assyria, and promising to assist Judah *, and of the 
subsequent destruction of the army of Assyria ^ when it had subdued Egypt and Ethiopia ; and 
the deliverance of Judah from its grasp ; and the future captivity and exile of Judah at Babylon ; 
and the deliverance of the Hebrew Nation by Cyrus. All these have been fulfilled. 

These prophecies, so numerous, and so circumstantial, and which must have seemed so strange 
when they were delivered, have been verified. The World is witness to their fulfilment. 

But this is not all. The still more marvellous and almost incredible prophecies concerning the 
Messiah, sufiering, despised and rejected by His own people, giving His " back to the smiters and 
His cheeks to them that plucked ofi" the hair *," and " numbered with the transgressors," and yet a 
glorious Conqueror and King — " the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace ^," 
— these have been fulfilled. 

Let us put this question : Can it be denied that He was born of a Virgin, as Isaiah foretold 
He would be ? and that He sprang from the stem of Jesse and of David, when it seemed to be hewn 
down to the roots ? — that, as was predicted by Isaiah, the principal scene of His ministry was 
Galilee ^ ? and that He wrought miracles ' such as the Prophet foretold ? Can it be questioned, that, 
according to Isaiah's prophecies. He was rejected and put to death by His own Nation, the Jews '", 
and that therefore the truth of Isaiah's prophecies, and the Messiahship of Jesus of Nazareth, are 
proved even by their ignorance of the true meaning of those prophecies, which they held in their 
hands and heard in their synagogues, and by their condemnation of Christ ; and that their unbelief 
is therefore an argument for our belief? As St. Paul, the great Hebrew of the Hebrews, said in his 
sermon at Antioch in Pisidia "," they " that dwell at Jerusalem, and their Rulers, because they 
knew Him not, nor yet the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath Da}^ have fulfilled 
them in condemning Him." 

Can it be denied, that, as Isaiah also predicted, His Gospel has " gone forth from Zion, and the 
Word of the Lord from Jerusalem "," and has imparted to Zion and to Jerusalem a spiritual univer- 
sality in every Nation under heaven ? 

All these things are evident : they are clear as noon-day. And now, what follows ? 

Surely this : Since all these prophecies of Isaiah have been fulfilled, can any reasonable person 
entertain a doubt, that the other prophecies of Isaiah, which still remain to be fulfilled, will in due 
time be fulfilled also ? 

Shall ninety-nine prophecies of a Prophet be fulfilled, and shall the hundredth fail ? No ; cer- 
tainly not. The fulfilment of the former is a pledge of the fulfilment of the latter, and the more so 
in the present case, because these other prophecies of Isaiah, which remain to be fulfilled, have been 
reiterated and confirmed to us in the New Testament by the authority of Christ Himself, the Eternal 
Word, in Whom the prophecies of the Old are accomplished, and Who is the Divine Author and 
the End — the Alpha and the Omega — of all Prophecy. 

This, therefore, we may hold fast and certain : that, as Isaiah has foretold, all Earthly Powers 
will be made subject to Christ ; and that there is a Resurrection of the Dead '^ ; and an Universal 
Judgment to come ; and a future Reward of everlasting glory and bliss to those who believe and 
obey God, and of everlasting shame and woe to those who resist Him. 

Let us also observe this^— 

Isaiah sees nothing beticeen the Gospel of Christ and the Day of Judgment. To Him, the days 
of the Christian Dispensation are " the last days '''." He knows of no other Law than that which 
went forth in primitive times from Zion ; he knows of no other Word of the Lord than that which 
went forth from Jerusalem. 

Here is a wholesome warning to such persons as dream of some " Church of the future," or 
who propound or embrace any new " developments of Christian doctrine," which were never preached 
by Christ or His Apostles, and which form no part of the "faith once for all delivered to the Saints'^ ;■'•' 
or who imagine that Christianity is a plastic thing, which may be modelled, moulded, and adjusted, 

1 S. Augustine, Ep. 162. « is. 1. » xxxv. 5, 6. '« Chap. liii. 

2 vii. 8. s vii. 16. n Acts xili. 27. "ii.3. 

< Chap. XX ^ xxxvii. 36. ^^ See on xxvi. 19. i"* ii. 2, 3. Cp. Micah iv 1, 

« 1. 6. 7 ix. 6. 15 jude 3. 


by " the human consciousness," with pliant elasticity, to suit the shifting caprices and fickle fashions 
of popular opinion. 

Isaiah has no sympathy with such religionists as these ; and they cannot justly look for any 
approval from that Divine Spirit Who wrote by him. 

Let us pass on to observe, that the Prophecies of Isaiah have cheering consolations and encou- 
ragements, as well as salutary and solemn warnings, which are specially applicable to the present 
age. If we may venture so to speak, Isaiah seems to anticipate the difficulties of the latter days, 
and to make spiritual provision for them. 

The States and Empires of Christendom seem now to be undergoing a process of disintegration 
and decomposition, if not of disruption. 

Isaiah has a special message for such a crisis as this. 

From his spiritual watch-tower at Jerusalem, he beheld the sea of the World around him 
agitated with storms. In the winds and waves raging beneath him, he foresaw the wrecks of 
mighty Kingdoms — Syria, Israel, Assyria, Tyre, Egypt, Babylon. He saw in the far-off future the 
dissolution of the fabric of the Earth itself. In this panoramic view of futurity, while contem- 
plating the events present to his prescient eye, he proclaimed the insignificance of all earthly pride, 
pomp, and power, and the Omnipotence and Majesty of God ; and the glory of the Kingdom of 
Christ ^ " Thus saith the Lord, Heaven is My Throne, and Earth is My Footstool." " Behold 
the Nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance ; behold He 
taketh up the isles as a very little thing '." All earthly Kingdoms will be shaken, all worldly 
Thrones will fall, all sublunary Empires will float away in dreamlike evanescence, as Assyria, 
Babylon, and Tyre have done, and be mingled with the shadowy phantoms of the past, as the 
Prophet describes in that sublimest of all pictures of departed earthly grandeur *. 

But he assures us that there is one Throne that can never be shaken, one Kingdom that can 
never be moved — the Throne and Kingdom of Christ. 

" Look," he says, " upon Zion, the city of our solemnities : thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a 
quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down ; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever 
be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken ^" " Thine eyes shall see the King in 
His beauty ; they shall behold the Land that is very far off." 

And in still more glorious language he says to the Church of God, " thou afflicted, tossed 
with tempest ... I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires ; I 
will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. 
In righteousness shalt thou be established, thou shalt be far from oppression, for thou shalt not fear ; 
and from terror, for it shall not come nigh thee. No weapon that is formed against thee shall 
prosper ; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the 
heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord *." 

Such are the promises of the Holy Spirit, speaking by the Prophet, to the Christian Church 
militant for a while here, in order to be glorified hereafter. 

Therefore, whatever may be the vicissitudes of earthly States and Empires, the Church of God 
is able to look upon the gathering storms of Revolution with calmness and composure. She raises 
her eyes upward, and beholds the City of God. And though her own civil relations on earth may 
be changed, though all her worldly helps and supports may fail, though secular Powers may forsake 
her, and even be arrayed against her, though her material fabrics may be wrested from her, or fall 
into decay and ruin — as Isaiah foretold would be the fate of the glorious Temple at Jerusalem, and 
of all its splendid ceremonial — though she may be a captive and exile, without settled sanctuaries 
for her sacred assemblies ; though she may sing no more the songs of Zion ^, but hang up her harp 
on the willows of Babylon, yet even there she may hear the prophetic voice, " Comfort ye, comfort 
ye My people *." 

She knows that it is good for her to learn — as Israel and Judah were taught by Isaiah — that it 
is a vain thing to rely on earthly Powers, and to resort for help to the Egypts and Assyrias " of this 
world. She knows that it is well for her to be taught by the severe discipline of affliction to lean 

» ii. 10—22; xxiv. 20—23. 9 «Woe to them that go down to Egypt; but they look 

. 2 Ixvi. 1. » xl. 15. not to the Holy One of Israel." Cp. xxx. 2 ; xxxvi. 6. Judah 

* See xiv. 9 — 19. Cp. Ezek. xxxii. 21—32. and Israel are also reproved for resorting to Assyria for help. See 

* xxxiii. 20. « liv. 11—17. on vii. 12 ; Ivii. 9 ; and 2 Kings xvi. 8. Jer. ii. 18. 36. 
7 Ps. cxxxvii. 1—4. 8 xl. 1. Hos. v. 13. 

a 2 


upon God's arm, and to cleave more closely to Him, and to quicken all her own energies, and to 
cherish more thankfully and lovingly all her own spiritual gifts and graces received from Him. It 
is well for her to feel, that as long as she is here on earth, she is a pilgrim, a stranger, and a 
sojourner ; that here is not her rest ; and that God chastens her in love, in order that her aflPections 
may be weaned from earth, and that she may learn more and more to hold communion with what 
is unseen and eternal ', and to have her conversation in heaven *, and may dwell in heart and soul 
in her future home, and may realize more and more that her true heritage is that Kingdom which 
cannot be moved ^, and that City which hath foundations, " whose builder and maker is God\" 

In the earKer part of the fifth century after Christ, when the "World was sounding with the 
crash of the ruins of the mighty Roman empire, a Christian Father, S. Jerome, dwelling in solitude 
at Bethlehem, and more venerable by old age, and then recovering from a severe sickness ^ com- 
posed his Commentary on Isaiah ; and in the Preface to one of the books of that exposition ^ he uses 
the following words, which have a special interest for the expounder and reader of the prophecies 
of Isaiah in the present times : — 

" The Lord, "Who looketh down upon the earth, and maketh it to tremble, and Who toucheth 
the mountains and they smoke, and Who saith in the song of Deuteronomy '', ' I kill and I make 
alive, I wound and I heal ;' hath made my earth to tremble with frequent sicknesses, and hath said 
to me, ' Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return *.' When I was forgetting the frail con- 
dition of humanity. He often warned me to remember that I am mortal and old, and now on the 
brink of the grave. But He Who smote me hath healed me, and hath filled me with fear rather than 
with sorrow, and hath corrected rather than wounded me. Therefore, well knowing, by Whose only 
gift it cometh that I still live, and that haply my falling asleep in Christ is now deferred for a 
time, in order that I may complete my labours on the Prophets, I devote myself wholly to this 
work ; and, being placed on a spiritual beacon-tower, I contemplate the hurricanes and shipwrecks 
of this World, not without sighs and groans. I do not fix my thoughts on the present, but on the 
future ; I do not fear the opinions and petty rumours of this World, but I dread the Judgment 
of God." 

Another reflection may be allowed here in connexion with this subject. Isaiah made a pro- 
phetic provision for the time when the religious services of the Temple of Jerusalem would be 
abolished, and the Temple itself would be destroyed ; and the people of Judah would be carried 
away captive to Babylon, as Israel in his own age had been taken to Assyria, and was dispersed in 
that distant land ; and he looks far beyond that catastrophe, and sees the time when the spiritual 
fabric of the Church Universal would rise up on the ruins of the material Temple at Jerusalem. 

These works of dissolution would, he shows, be overruled by God to all who love Him, so as to 
have a conservative and constructive character ; and he reminds his readers of every age, that even 
in the midst of God's penal visitations, and indirectly by the means of their stern discipline, the 
principles of vital and essential religion are tested and may be invigorated. He declares in the 
strongest terms that true religion is a practical thing, a thing of the heart and of the life. He 
declares that external religious ceremonials, festal anniversaries, and sacrificial oblations, are of 
little value in comparison with the moral duties of piety, justice, and mercy '. He declares that 
the Temple in which God most delights to dwell, is the human heart ^° ; the heart of the meek and 
contrite ; and that all material fabrics, be they even as magnificent as the Temple of Solomon itself, 
are of no account in comparison with it ". 

This doctrine — which is inculcated by the Prophets and by our Blessed Lord in the GospeP' — 
contains wholesome and seasonable warnings, instructions, and encouragements to our own age. 
The time may come, when the faithful servants of God may be driven from the sanctuaries of their 
own land. Isaiah does indeed declare, that it is the paramount duty, and noblest privilege, of Kings 
and Queens, to be " the nursing fathers and nursing mothers " of the Church '', and that their true 
welfare consists in promoting hers ; and that ** the Nation and Kingdom which will not serve 
her" (that is, will not maintain, cherish, and foster the true Church of God) "shall perish '^" 

1 2 Cor. iv. 18. ' Phil. iii. 20. part ii. chap. i. ; Davison on Prophecy, pp. 207 — 209, 6th ed., 

3 Heb. xii. 28. 4 Heb. xi. 10. 1857. 

* About A.D. 410. 1" Ivii. 15; Ixi. 1; Ixvi. 1, 2. " Volens in templo Dei orare, 

* S. Jerome, in Esai. lib. xiv. cap. 1., ed. Bened. torn. iii. in ^e ora. Ipse templum Dei esto " (/S. .4^^_5'«s^^we). 
p. 359, Paris, 1704. " Ixvi. 1, 2. 

7 Deut. xxxii. 39. '^ 1 Sam. xv. 22. Micah vi. 6. 8. Hos. vi. 6. Jer. vii. 22, 

8 Gen. iii. 19. 23. Matt. ix. 13; xii. 7. 

» i. 13—15; xxix. 13; Ixvi. 3. Cp. Bp. Butler's Analogy, i' xliii. 23. »* Ix. 12. 


And how mucli more will they, who injure, despoil, and persecute her, incur misery and 
ruin ! 

But he also warns her of evil days to come. The spiritual expansion of the Church may be 
cramped and hampered by the Powers of this world ; her energies may be crippled and paralyzed ; 
her liberty and her life may be imperilled ; severe and unjust conditions may be imposed upon her 
by secular authority, which may render it no longer possible for her faithful members to minister 
or to worship in her sanctuaries. Such a calamity happened in our own country more than two 
centuries ago ; and it may happen again. 

When the Temple of Jerusalem was profaned by worship which God loathed, then the Divine 
Glory floated away on the Cherubim from the courts of the Hebrew Sanctuary of Sion to the far-off 
banks of the river of Chebar *. And the Prophet Ezekiel then delivered a prophetic homily to the 
exiles there, on the importance and acceptability oi personal religion ^. 

Isaiah had already taught the same truth. And at a time when National Establishments 
of Religion appear to be threatened, and the condition of some may be, before long, like that of the 
exiles at Chebar — where every man was thrown on the support of those gifts and graces which he 
received from spiritual communion with God — it is the duty of all to listen to that prophetic teaching ; 
and, while we have the comfort of knowing that the Scriptures will never perish, and the Sacraments 
will never cease to be administered ^ ; and while it is a happy result even of our religious divisions, 
that there is now no ecclesiastical power on earth which can impair or affect the ancient Creeds, received 
from an united Christendom ; and while we cherish, with grateful reverence and love, all those 
external accessories which impart dignity and beauty to religion, we shall not allow our own supply 
of religious life to depend upon those accessories, but shall seek more and more for nearer personal 
commimion with God, and cherish more and more those spiritual graces of Faith, Love, and Holi- 
ness, which are most pleasing to Him, Who will impart fresh beauty to that spiritual Temple of the 
soul, which is adorned by those virtues, and which will acquire new loveliness from Death, and has 
been solemnly consecrated by the Holy Spirit to His honour and service. 

Analysis of the Contents of the Book o/" Isaiah. 

The Book of Isaiah consists of Two great Portions, each of which is subdivided into several 

The First Portion contains chaps, i. — xxxix., and ends with a prophecy of the Captivity of 
Judah at Babylon. 

The Second Portion contains chaps, xl. — Ixvi. ; it begins with the words, " Comfort ye, comfort 
ye My people, saith your God ;" and is continued to the end of the Book. 

The first of these two great Portions is formed of five Parts. 

The First Part of the First great Portion consists of the first five chapters, which may be 
called a Prologue to the rest ; and, like other Prologues of the Books of Scripture *, it contains a 
brief summary of the contents of the whole. 

These first five chapters present an introductory and compendious Prophecy, extending from 
the days of Isaiah to the first Advent of Christ, and even to His Second Coming. 

The Second Part, beginning with the sixth chapter, opens with Isaiah's vision of the glory 
of the Ever-Blessed Trinity, adored by the Seraphim, in the Temple at Jerusalem*. He then 
receives a commission — not his primary commission, as some have thought °, but a second and 
enlarged commission — to declare the punishment of the unbelieving Jews for their obduracy ', and 
to foretell the evangelization of Israel and of all Nations by Christ. 

Henceforth, therefore, he proceeds to predict the birth of Immanuel from the Virgin of the 
House of David®. Christ's double office, in overthrowing all His enemies, and in delivering the 
faithful residue of His People, is declared by the symbolical names of Isaiah's two sons, Maher- 
shalal-hash-baz {spoil speeds, prey hastens), and Shear-jashub (a remnant shall return^)', and the 
Prophet hails the orient beams of evangelical light, shed forth by His rising on the people that 
walked in darkness and dwelt in the shadow of death '", and the glorious career and conquests of Him 

' Ezek. viii., ix., and x. tlie opening chapters of those Books. 

- See Ezek. xviii. 1—32, and xxxiii. 1—20. 5 gee below, on vi. 1-8. ^ See on vi. 1, 

3 Matt, xxviii. 19. 1 Cor. xi. 26. 7 vi. 9—11. ^ vii. 13, It. 

* e.g. of the Psalms and PjiOVEEBS. See the notes above, on * See on vii. 3 ; viii. 3; viii. 8. ^^ ix. 1 — 3. 


Who is the Great Deliverer of His People ^ and is a Victorious Warrior and Everlasting King 
on the " throne of David." And being filled with the Holy Ghost, Isaiah exclaims in the name 
of redeemed Humanity, " Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given ; and the government 
shall be upon His shoulder, and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty 
God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." 

The Prophet then displays a view of the proud Power of this World, opposed to God and His 
Church. This Power is represented by Assyria, the mighty Empire, which in Isaiah's time was 
the adversary of Judah, and gloried in its own strength ', and blasphemed the God of Israel. 

Observe the contrast between the two successive Kings of Judah to whom Isaiah was sent, 
Ahaz, and his son Hezekiah. 

Ahaz, alarmed by the league of Syria and Israel against him, resorted to Assyria for help. 
Isaiah assured the faithless king that no confederacy of earthly powers could destroy the House 
of David, from which Immanuel would be born ^, and that the kingdoms of Syria and Israel would 
be overthrown, by Assyria; and. he warned him that Assyria would be used by God to punish him 
for his sins ". 

Isaiah was also employed by God to comfort Hezekiah, the faithful son and successor of the 
faithless Ahaz, with the cheering words that he and his city would be delivered from the same 
power of Assyria, when it appeared to be on the point of destroying them ; and that Assyria itself 
would be broken in the land of Judah *. These predictions were fulfilled. 

Why (it may be asked) does Assyria occupy so large a space in the prophetic picture ? 

The reason, doubtless, was this, not only because Assyria — by its power, its conquests, 
its pride, its impiety, and the sudden destruction of its mighty army, in the presumptuous self- 
confidence of its most brilliant hour of glory, when, laden with the spoils of Egypt and Ethiopia, it 
encamped before Jerusalem ' and menaced it with immediate ruin, — displayed in a signal manner 
to the Nations of the Earth, the supremacy of the God of Israel ; but because Assyria stands forth 
in these prophecies, as the type of that infidel and impious form of Antichristianism which will rise 
up against God in the latter days ; and because, in reading the history of the one, we may see the 
destiny of the other ; and because, in the wonderful deliverance of Hezekiah from the ruthless arm 
of Assyria, the faithful of every age may see a pledge of their own preservation from all the over- 
flowings of Ungodliness in times of deep distress. 

This will be evident to an attentive reader of these prophecies. Isaiah passes on by a sublime 
transition, from speaking of the pride ajid overthrow of Assyria, to speak of the future prostration of 
all earthly Powers at the feet of Christ. We shall also see hereafter, in the thirty-eighth and thirty- 
ninth chapters of Ezekiel, that Isaiah's language concerning Assyria is adopted by that Prophet, 
when he foretells the insolent haughtiness of the impious Antichristian Power, and the abortive 
issue of the assaults which will be made by it on the Church of God in the last days. 

These truths are also displayed by Isaiah in a clear light, by the contrast between the over- 
throw of Assyria, when flourishing in all its vigour, like the cutting down of a mighty forest of 
Lebanon by a fell swoop of Omnipotence, and the rise of Christ, the lowly Branch and Pod from the 
stem of Jesse, when hewn down to its roots and seemingly extinct, and His subsequent rapid growth 
to overshadow the earth, and to receive all Nations under His shade '. When Antichrist appears 
to be strongest, then he will be hurled to the ground. When Christ seems to be weakest. He will 
put all enemies under His feet. When Antichrist rages most fiercely, then will Christ come. 

This contrast is followed immediately by a Song of Salvation * — a prelude to the Song of the 
Pedeemed at the crystal sea, before the Throne of God ^ 

This Second Part of the First great Portion of Isaiah's prophecies, closes with a Hymn of 
Victory and Praise. 

The Third Part begins at chap. xiii. and is continued to the end of chap, xxvii. It contains 
Prophecies, called Burdens ^\ of Judgments — tempered with mercy — on the Kingdoms of Earth — 
on Babylon ", on Assyria ^^ on Philistia, ", on Moab ^\ on Damascus, the capital of Syria, and on 

' ix. 4 — 7. Judah, and spreading terror around it, and its sudden de- 

2 See xxxvi. 18— 20; xxxvii. 23 — 25. struction (x. 21—31), like that of a forest of stately cedars, 

3 vii. 11. ■* vii. 17. hewn down at once in all the lustiness of its strength. 

5 xiv. 25. Cp. xxxvii. 36. 6 xxxvii. 36. » xii. 1—6. " See Kev. xv. 2—4. 

7 See on xi. 1 — 16 : "There shall come forth a Rod out of " See below, on xiii. 1. '' xiii. xiv. 1—24. 

the stem of Jesse," — a prophecy following immediately on the i- xiv. 25 — 27. '' xiv. 28—32. 

prediction of the campaign of the Assyrian army invading '■* xv. xvi. 



Israel (joiaed with Syria against Judah) \ on Assyria ^ on Egypt and Ethiopia ' (to which 
Judah, in the days of Hezekiah and Isaiah, had for a time looked for succour against Assyria and 
Sennacherib) ; again, on Babylon", called "the Desert of the Sea," on Edom* (which would rejoice 
over Jerusalem's capture by Babylon), on Arabia ^ on Jerusalem (called " the Yalley of Vision"), 
with a .prediction of its capture by the Chaldeans ', on Tyre ^ and, finally, on the whole Earth. 

In addition to the religious, moral, and political uses of these prophecies, as proving ' the 
Prescience and Omnipotence of the God of Israel, as the One Supreme Moral Ruler of all Nations of 
the World, they are so framed as to show that all God's dispensations are ordered with a view to 
the spread of the Gospel of Christ; and that His judicial visitations on earthly Kingdoms are 
designed to that end ; and ought to be made subservient to it by the human Will, co-operating with 
Divine Grace'". 

They serve also the purpose of showing that God in Christ wiU triumph over all opposition 
whatever form it may assume. 

Let it not be imagined, that the names of Nations in these "Burdens" or Prophecies of 
Judgment, are mere general, vague, and indefinite designations of enmity to God. No ; this would 
be a very erroneous and profitless view of them. Let them only be subjected to a careful and 
discriminating analysis, and it will be found that each sevsrai Nation has not only an historic reality 
of its own, but it also represents some special phase of hostility to God and His Church ". 

Assyria symbolizes open Impiety : it is the infidel form of Antichristianism. Babylon typifies 
another form of Antichristianism — that of Idolatry and Superstition. Egypt, another — that of 
unsanctified Knowledge and proud Science and Philosophy falsely so called, Ethiopia is the figure 
of another form — that of physical force inspiring terror by its menaces '*. And both Egypt and 
Ethiopia are exhibited in these prophecies as worldly Powers to which Judah — the People of God — 
looked, and looked in vain, for help, instead of trusting in God. Judah sought to shelter itself under 
the "whirring of the wings'^" of Ethiopia and Egypt, which made a great flapping sound, but 
afibrded no protection, rather than under the wings of the Cherubim, and under the pinions of Him 
Who sitteth upon them. Edom and Moab typify another form — that of those who are connected with 
the Church by community of origin and race (as Edom and Moab were with Judah), but who are her 
deadly enemies, and exidt in her affliction, as Edom shouted with triumph at the downfall of 
Jerusalem ". Philistia represents another form — that of a near neighbour and inveterate foe. Tvre 
another form — that of maritime and commercial activity, power, and wealth, not hallowed by 
Religion, but engendering worldly pride and selfish idolatry. 

These prophecies of Isaiah, directed against all these earthly Powers, embody the assurance, that 
if the Church of God is true to Him, and relies on His help, then He will defend her from all attacks, 
in whatever quarter they may arise, and whatever form they may assume, whether of open Infidelity, 
or corrupt Religion, or of a godless Philosophy, or a sensuous and slavish Idolatry of Wealth, or 
unbrotherly hate from treacherous friends, perfidious neighbours, and false brethren ; and that no 
weapon that is formed against her shall prosper '^ ; and that, in the Great Day, when the Lord shall 
arise to Judgment, and to call all men from their graves '^ and to destroy aU the Powers of Evil, then 
she will sing praise to Him Who has swallowed up Death in Victory '^ ; and the Lord God will 
wipe all tears from all faces of those who have waited patiently on Him '*. 

The Third Part closes, as the Second did, with a Song of Praise, and a vision of glory ". 

The Fourth Part of the Prophecies of Isaiah begins with chapter xxviii. and is continued to the 
end of chapter xxxv. 

It contains six Woes, which are a sequel to God's denunciations of Judgment announced in the 
foregoing Part ; and which extend to the Woes pronounced by Christ Himself on Jerusalem (Matt. 
xxiii. 13 — 29) ; and to the Woes of the Book of Revelation (Rev. ix. 12. 14.) ; and to the Woe which 
will be denounced on the wicked at the Great Day, and which is symbolized by the destruction of 

' ^^i!" ■'■ — ■'■■'"■ rifualiter accipienda sunt omnia, et sic Juclsea et Jerusalem, 

2 xvii. 13—14. 3 xviii., xix., xx. Babylon et Philistiim, et Damascus et Tyrus, intelligenda 

* xxi. 1—10. 5 xxi. 11, 12. sunt." 

fi xxi. 13— 17. 7 See xxii. 1—14. i^ See on xviii. 1, 2. 7. i3 See on xviii. 1. 

^ xxiii. ^ 9 See above, p. xi. '* See above, on Ps. cxxxvii. 7 ; and below, on Isa. xxxiv. 5 ; 

1" See tbis moral end expressed in tlie propbecy concerning Ixiii. 1. 

Pliilistia (xiv. 31, 32), Moab (xvi. 1—5), Etbiopia (xviii. 7), '* liv. 17. 

Egypt, Assyria, and Israel (xix. 23 — 25), Tyre (xxiii. 17, 18). '« See xxiv., xxvi., especially xxvii. 1. '' xxv. 2. 8. 

11 See below, in p. 28, Prelim. Note to cliap. xiii. S. Jerome, i» xxv. 8, 9 ; xxvi. 1—4. i3 xxvi., xxvii. 
Prsefat. in Esaiam, well says, "Post bistoriaj veritatem sin- 


the great and godless power of Assyria with scorching fire \ and by the desolation of Edom, the 
representative of false friends and sacrilegious spoilers of the Church of God ^. 

These Woes are tempered with mercy ; they are blended with promises of eternal benediction to 
all who repent of their sins ^ and who love and serve God, and receive the Gospel of Christ ■•. " Tho 
ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads. 
They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away *." 

The Fourth Part ends, as the two foregoing ones have done, with a revelation of glory and joy, 
and with a Doxology to God. 

The Fifth and last Part of this First great Portion of Isaiah's Prophecies, consists of the histo- 
rical record of the invasion of Judah by the army of Assyria under Sennacherib. It displays the 
arrogant pride and impious blasphemy of Assyria ; Hezekiah's alarm and temporary weakness ; his 
subsequent repentance, faith, and prayers to God in the Temjjle ; the sudden overthrow of the 
Assyrian army on its return to Jerusalem in its triumphant march homeward from Ethiopia and 
^gyP*- '• I^ contains also a relation of Hezekiah's dangerous sickness, his prayers, and his mira- 
culous restoration to health ; and the going back of the sun on the dial of Ahaz ten degrees, and 
the extension of his life for fifteen years ' ; and his Psalm of thanksgiving after his recovery. 

It ends with the narrative of the arrival of the ambassadors who were sent to Jerusalem by 
Merodach Baladan, king of Babylon, in order to congratulate Hezekiah on his recovery, and to 
" inquire of the wonder that had been done in the land ^" It records Hezekiah's weakness in 
showing them all his treasures, and Isaiah's consequent reproof of Hezekiah ; and it concludes 
with his prophecy that all these treasures " shall be carried to Babylon ; nothing shall be left, saith 
the Lord ^" 

Thus ends the Fifth and last Part of the First great Portion of Isaiah's Prophecies. It ends 
with a prophecy of the captivity of Judah at Babylon. The Second Portion begins with a prophecy 
of Judah's liberation from Babylon. 

This Second great Portion commences with chapter xl. — " Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, 
saith the Lord," and extends to the end of the Book. 

It consists of three Parts, of which an analysis is given below in the preliminary note to that 
chapter (chapter xl.), and in the preliminary notes to the first chapters respectively of the other two 
Parts, viz. chapter xlix. and chapter Iviii. 

The reader is invited to refer to those notes for a summary of that portion and of its constituent 

Suflfice it to say here, that this Second great Portion of the Evangelical Prophet's predictions 
reveals the deliverance and restoration of Judah from exile and captivity at Babylon, by Cyrus, the 
Conqueror of that city ; and that it thence passes on, by an easy and beautiful transition, to foretell 
and describe the far more glorious emancipation and recovery of Israel and of the World, from 
spiritual banishment and bondage, by the Great Antitype of Cyrus — Jesus Christ ^\ 

The clearness with which the circumstances of those two great Restorations are displayed in 
these prophecies, has been and is a trial and touchstone of the faith of their readers. The meek 
and gentle, and they who have that true wisdom which is the fruit of humility, have recognized and 
adored in them the operation of the Holy Spirit of God, Who speaks by Isaiah, and have greeted 
with joy, in the history of Cyrus and in the fulfilment of these prophecies, proofs of Divine 
Inspiration, and evidences of the truth of Christianity which is revealed in them. 

The feelings of such readers as these have found utterance in language like the following :— 

" To be ignorant of the Scriptures " (says 8. Jerome ") " is to be ignorant of Christ. Therefore I 
shall so comment on the Prophecies of Isaiah, that I may show him to have been not only a Prophet, 
but also an Evangelist, and an Apostle. The Book of Isaiah contains all the mysteries of the Lord. 
Here He is preached not only as Immanuel, born of the Virgin, but as the Worker of signs and won- 
ders; as dying, buried, and rising again for us ; and as the Saviour of all Nations. Isaiah unfolds so 

1 See XXX. 27. 30—33 ; xxxi. 9 ; xxxiii. 1—14 ; and ou xxxvii. Son of Siracli (Ecclus. xlviii. 22—25) : " Esay the prophet was 

•'-■'■• ^"- . great and faithful in vision, and saw by an excellent spirit what 

bee xxxiv. 5 lo. 3 xxx. 22. should come to pass in the last times, and he comforted them 

■• See xxviii. 16; xxxii. 18-20; xxxiii. 6. 16. 22. that mourned in Siou" (he refers here to the first words of 

^^^"f-^^O- ^ xxxvi., xxxvii. this Second Portion). "He showed what should come to pass 

xxxyni. 8 2 Chron. xxxii. 31. for ever." This is also a clear testimony from the ancient 

xxxix. b. Hebrew Church to the genuineness of this Second Portion. 

'» The judgment of the ancient Hebrew Church on the i^ -S. Jerowe, Prsef. ad Esaiam; and see his Epist. ad Paulinum 

e«ohiitological chai-acter of these prophecies is expressed by the (Ep. 103). 


clearly the mysteries of Clirlst and the Church, that he seems to be an historian of the past, 
rather than a Prophet of the future." 

" Isaiah " (observes S. Cyril of Alexandria ') " is ever speaking of the Redemption of the "World 
by Christ ; and he foretells that for a time the Jews will be rejected from the favour of God, and 
that the multitude of the Gentiles will be accepted by Him, being justified by faith ; so that God 
seems to crown" the blessed Prophet Isaiah not only with prophetical grace, but with apostolical 

"Isaiah" (says 8. Augustine^) "pre-announces future punishment to the rebellious people of 
Israel, and he delivers more prophecies than all the rest concerning Christ and the Church, so that 
by some he is called an Evangelist, rather than a Prophet." 

On the genuineness of the Second Portion of this Book (chapters xl. — xlvi.). 

But unhappily, others there are, who in the very clearness of Isaiah's prophecies have seen an 
argument against them. 

They allege, that these predictions concerning the capture of Babylon by Cyrus, and the 
restoration of the Jews by him, could not have been written in the age of Isaiah ; and they 
would separate ' this second Portion of Isaiah from the first ; and they ascribe this Portion to a 
writer who lived more than a century after Isaiah's death, and (to borrow the words of a writer * 
who has rendered this opinion popular by the attractive graces of his style, "even after 
Jerusalem had been destroyed, and when the persons to be consoled were already in exile, and 
Babylon was in the height of her power, and Cyrus and his conquests were already well known." 

Objections are urged by that writer ° against the genuineness of this Portion of Isaiah, which 
demand notice here ; and which, it is earnestly hoped, he may be induced to reconsider. 

Objection 1. In this Portion (he says), the Messiah is designated as " the servant of God" (see 
xlii. 1), which is not the case in the first Portion ; therefore, it is alleged, the second Portion was 
not written by the author of the first — Isaiah. 

Reply. The Prophet in this second Portion provides a supply of future comfort to the exiled 
captives at Babylon ; and no better consolation could be ministered to them than that which is 
derived from the sufferings of " the servant of God," the Messiah, rising by affliction to glory. See 
chaps, liii. and liv. 

Objection 2. In the catalogue of Sacred Books iu the Talmud (Bava Bathra, 14. b), the Book 
of Isaiah is placed after Jeremiah and Ezekiel ; therefore we may infer that this second Portion 
was not written by Isaiah, but was written after Jeremiah and Ezekiel. 

Beply. In some Hebrew MSS. Jeremiah and Ezekiel are placed after the Second Book of Kings, 
because they are a prophetical comment on that Book. But Isaiah is placed before Jeremiah in 
the Masora and in very many MSS. of the Hebrew Bible ^ and occupies the first place among the 
Greater Prophets in ancient catalogues of the canonical Books (such as those preserved by Melito 
and Origen) of the Old Testament ''. 

Objection 3. This latter Portion is popularly ascribed to Isaiah because it has been attached to 
his prophecies, and " similar instances of agglomerating several works " (by difierent authors) 
"under the same name, are to be found, probably in the prophecies of Zechariah — certainly in the 
Psalter of David." 

Reply. As to Zechariah, this allegation will be examined hereafter. As to " the Psalter of David," 
the case is not parallel. In the Psalter, various Psalms by different authors are intermingled and 
blended together in one collection ; but here, twenty-seven chapters, forming one integral whole, 
are attached to Isaiah's prophecies. And all the Psalms are nowhere ascribed to David in the New 
Testament, nor in the Old ; on the contrary, many of the Psalms are expressly assigned to other 
authors besides David * in the titles (which constitute a part of the Psalms to which they are 
prefixed), in Hebrew Manuscripts, and in our own Authorized Ycrsion of the Bible. 

1 S. Cyril, Alex. Prolog, in Esaiam. Similar language is of tliis Second Portion, wLicli are specified in that Prelim. 
used by Theodoret, in the Preface to liis Commentary on Note, p. 113, may be added those of Frof. Lee, Prof. Pai/ne 
Isaiah. Smith, Dr. Henderson, Dr. Pye Smith, J. A. Alexander, Dr. 

2 De Civ. Dei, xviii. 29. - McCaul (Aids to Faith, pp. 122—124). 

' In the Prelim. Note below, to chap. xl. (below, p. 113), •» Stanley, Lectures on the Jewish Church, 2ud Series, 

I have endeavoured to show that it was morally impossible that p. 583. 

tlie prophecies of Isaiah sliould have ended "with the thirty- ^ Stanley, Lectures on the Jewish Church, 2ud Scries, 

ninth chapter; and that the second portion of them is a natural pp. 583—585. 

and, in some respects, an almost necessary sequel and corollary ^ Cp. Vitrinya, p. 21 ; Delitzsch, p. xxii. 

to the first. ^ See Euseh. iv. 26; vi. 25. 

To the names of those who have maintained the genuineness * See above, Irdroduction to the Psalms, pp. xii, xiii. 

Vol. V. Paut I. b 


Objection 4. " In Ezra i. 1, it is not Isaiah, but Jeremiah, who is quoted as having foretold the 
deliverance by Cyrus ;" and we are thence intended to infer that Isaiah's prophecies concerning 
Cyrus were not known to Ezra, or, if known, were not owned by him to be genuine. 

Reply. Ezra referred to Jeremiah, because Jeremiah had defined beforehand the precise year in 
which the edict of Cyrus was issued for the restoration of the Jews (Jer. xxv. 11, 12 ; xxix. 10). 
There was something more specific in that definition of the year, than even the mention of the name 
of t\xe person, Cyrus, by whom the deliverance was to be effected (Isa. xliv. 28 ; xlv. 1) ; and it is of 
the year in which the liberation took place that Ezra is speaking, — " In the first year of Cyrus king 
of Persia" (he says), "that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled." 
And precisely the same words are used in the Chronicles (2 Chron. xxxvi. 22) concerning the year, 
where there is a similar reference to Jeremiah. 

In speaking of the year of the restoration of the Jews, it would not have been relevant to refer 
to Isaiah, who had said nothing concerning the year; but it was very pertinent to appeal io Jeremiah, 
by whom the year of the return had been foretold. But in referring to the Prophet Jeremiah, Ezra 
did not intend to exclude the Prophet Isaiah. And Josejjhus ^ reports the judgment of the Jewish 
Church on these prophecies of Isaiah, when he says that they were shown to Cyrus, and that he was 
induced by them to restore the Jews. 

The present canon of the Hebrew Scriptures was completed in the days of Ezra ; and the fact 
that the whole of what is commonly ascribed to Isaiah, including chapters xl. — Ixvi. is contained in 
the Hebrew Canon, and was received as genuine by the Hebrew Church, and was acknowledged as 
such by our Blessed Lord and His Apostles, and is recognized as genuine by the whole Christian 
Church, is a proof that the whole is the genuine work of Isaiah the Prophet, and was accepted 
by Ezra as such. 

This is further confirmed by the fact, that the language of this Portion of Isaiah is adopted by 
Prophets who lived he/ore the taking of Jerusalem and dui'ing the Captivity, especially Jeremiah 
and Ezekiel. 

Compare Isaiah xlvii. 1—3 with Jeremiah xlviii. 18. 22. 26 2. Compare Isaiah lis. 12 with Jeremiah xiv. 7. 

Ivi. 9 „ „ xii. 9. xliv. 23 ") 

Ivii. 1 „ „ xii. 11. xlviii. 20 [ „ 1., li. 

lix. 1, 2 „ „ V. 25, Ixvi. 6 J 

lix. 9—11 „ „ xiii. 16. Ixvi. 16 „ li. 55, 56. 

Compare Isaiah Ivii. 9. 11 with Ezekiel xxiii. 40; xxsiv. 

Objection 5. " The style of this Portion, though in many respects similar to the earlier chapters, 
differs essentially, in its ease and continuous flow, from the first Portion ;" and also the differences 
of language are stated by the most distinguished Orientalists to be " distinctly marked." 

Reply. To this objection an answer may be made in the following words from a learned philo- 
logical work ' : 

" The language of the Second Portion of Isaiah vouches for itself, not only by its freedom from 
later idioms and Chaldaisms, but also by characteristic peculiarities, as that of Isaiah. 

" That the mode of representation in chapters xl. — Ix^i. has on the whole more clearness, 
transparency, ease, fluency, detail, and breadth, than the language of the First Portion, which is 
recognized as genuine — in which conciseness and condejisation of expression, rapid change of figures 
(often only slightly indicated), predominate, and, consequently, here and there obscurity of style 
arises — cannot but be acknowledged. 

" But this difference is fully accounted for by the difference of the subject. 

" The language of the First Portion, recognizable by these peculiarities, is denunciatory in its 
contents ; and brevity and vigour of expression are as suitable to this minatory character as, in 
the present chapters, a clear and easy flow of language, and a rich fulness of graphic description, 
constituting a life-like representation, are suitable for the announcement of infinite salvation. 
Here, also, the accumulation of manifold appositions, and especially in regard to the naming of 
Jehovah, will appear the less surprising, the more we consider the immensity of the salvation, sur- 
passing all hope, which the Lord prepares for His people. 

" Besides, it must be added, that the prophecies of the First Part consist of speeches which, 
under difficult circumstances, and in times of great excitement, were openly pronounced to the 

» Ant. xi. 1. 1. 2 Sec Kueper, Caspari, Keil, and others. ^ ^gH^ Einleitung, § 71, p. 245. 



people ; while, on the other hand, the chapters of this latter Portion contain the well-considered 
result, wrought out in its relation to the outward life of the Prophet, and recorded for posterity, of 
his spiritual functions with respect to the future of the Theocracy, and also of the higher revelations 
and manifestations communicated to him by reason of these functions." Further, *' this expressly 
establishes the greatness of Isaiah, and generally one of his most prominent excellences, that, 
accordingly as the subject requires it, he has easily at command every variety of language and 
every species of description." 

" Finally, these chapters show not a few of Isaiah's characteristic peculiarities of manner and 
setting forth, e. g. the frequent and peculiar application and conjunction of antithesis, parono- 
masia, and play on words, crowded details, clauses for the formation of refrains and gradual 
rhythms, insertion of songs, chiefly hymns of thanksgiving, rarity of visions, and symbolical 
treatment '." 

Yet further, it is alleged ', that the Writer of this Second Portion lived more than a century 
and a half after Isaiah, and toward the close of the Captivity, and when " Cyrus and his conquests 
were already well known." 

If these allegations were well grounded, then the Author of this Second Portion ought not to 
be honoured as a Prophet, but to be stigmatized as an impostor ^. 

He represents himself as living long before the age of Cyrus. He propounds it as a marvellous 
thing, and as a signal proof of divine foresight, that God should call Cyrus by name *. 

But if " Cyrus and his conquests were already well known " when the author wrote, was it 
any proof of Omniscience to be able to utter a name with which the world rang ? 

In other places the writer represents himself as living at a time before the Captivity. For 
example, he calls the Church Sephzibah, the name of the wife of king Hezekiah ^. Such a designa- 
tion of the Church was very appropriate in the age of Isaiah and Hezekiah, for the reasons stated in 
the following notes. But it was not at all likely to have been originated in the latter times of the 
Babylonish Captivity (to which the author is assigned by the objectors), a hundred and fifty years 
after the death of Hezekiah. Therefore we do not hesitate to repeat, that if the writer of this 
Second Portion did not live before the Captivity, he is not to be revered as a prophet, but to 
be rejected as guilty of forgery ; and yet this Second Portion of this Book is quoted as Scripture 
by the Holy Spirit at least twenty-six times in the New Testament. Would the Holy Spirit 
of Truth cite the words of an Impostor as the oracles of God ? 



xl. 3, 


Matt. iii. 3. Lulce iii. 4. John i. 23. 

liii. 5, 

"luotecl 1 Pet. ii. 24, 



1 Pet. i. 24, 25. 

liii. 7, 

Acts viii. 32, 33. 

xl. 13, 


Rom. xi. 34. 1 Cor. ii. 16. 

liii. 12, 

Mark xv. 28. 

xlv. 23, 

Rom. xiv. 11. 

liv. 1, 

, Gal. iv._27. 

xlk. 6, 


Acts xiii. 47. 

Iv. 3, 

, Acts xiii. 34. 

xlix. 8, 


2 Cor. vi. 2. 

Ivi. 7, 

, Matt. xxi. 13. Mark xi. 17. 

lii. 5, 


Rom. ii. 24. 

lix. 7, 8, 

, Rom. iii. 15. 

lii. 7, 

Rom. X. 15. 

lix. 20, 21, 

, Rom. xi. 26. 

lii. 11, 12, 


2 Cor. vi. 17, 18. 

Ixiv. 4, 

„ 1 Cor. ii. 9. 

lii. 15, 

Rom. XV. 21. 

Ixv. 1, 2, 

Rom. X. 20, 21. 

liii. 1, 

) 9 

Rom. X. 16. 

Ixvi. 1, 2, 

, Acts vii. 49, 50. 

liii. 4, 

Matt. viii. 17. 

1 Cp. the evidence of this in Klein, p. 279, &c. ; and 
HdvernicJc, p. 191, &c. The few Chaldaisms, as ^rhwii (Ixiii. 3) 
and '7nn (liii. 10), are of a poetical kind, and testify as little to 
the period of exile as D'DDD (xli. 25),— a word Isaiah may very 
well have appropriated from the intercourse of the Jews with 
the Assyrians, which took place in his time. Cp. Hdvernick, 
i. p. 228, &c. The idioms adduced hy the opponents (namely, 
Knohel, Jes. i. p. xxvii, &c.), and accumulated in an uncritical 
manner, either explain themselves from the nature of the sub- 
ject, since a piece of such extent must, it is easily imaginable, 
contain many peculiar ideas and words (cp. Klein, p. 250; 
and Belitzsch to DrecTisler, iii. p. 403) ; or are not general, 
as e. g. nirr ~i.ys, of Israel or of the Messiah, is only to be found 
in ch. xl. — xiviii. ; or rest only on false interpretation, as 
pi^, '^'yi in the presumed sense =: Salvation, Victory ; TDE«)p 
for Religion, ini for ^rore, &c. ; or occur in the "genuine" 
Isaiah also, as D'^«, Islands, distant coast-lands, cp. xi. 11 ; 
^brt, cp. xxix. 21 ; "^^n, darkness for misfortune, cp. viii. 22 ; 
is. 1. 

On the other hand, the " Isaianic " idioms are so remarkable 
and so emphatic, that they cannot be overlooked as trifles, and 
explained away as imitations or repetitions. So, for example, 

we often find 'jsnic'. cii|?, xli. 14. 16. 20, &c. (about fourteen 
times in these chapters) j the use of Nn;::, to he named, for to 
be, and to be recognized, xlvii. 1. 4, 5 ; xiviii. 8, &c. (cp. 
Qesen. ii. p. 29) ; the formula ) iDt^', Ixi. 6 ; Ixii. 4 — cp. iv. 3 ; 
xix. 18 ; the nin; idn' in parenthesis for » "idni (cp. Klein, 
p. 239—250); V3« for God, xlix. 26; Ix. 16. Cp. i. 24; the 
poetical □'«^^'.i?, xlii. 5 ; xhv. 3 ; xiviii. 19 ; Ixi. 9 ; Ixv. 23 — aa 
xxii. 24 ; inn for Egypt, Ii. 9 — as xxx. 7 ; ^13, truncus, xl. 24 — 
as xi. 1 ; yiin, tribula, xli. 15, and xxviii. 27 ; D'.Q "hT, xliv. 4, 
and xxx. 25;^yW23, only Iv. 13, and vii. 19; issp, xUv. 8; xlv. 
11 ; xiviii. 3. 5. 7 — as xvi. 13 ; the conjunction x©?'] Dn, Ivii. 
15— as ii. 13; vi. 1 ; n^b, of the drying up of the water, xli. 
17, and xix. 5 ; inb n;n— as v. 5 ; vi. 13 ; ti-vs, liii. 2— as xi. 
10, &c. Cp. Klein,\ 220—279. 

2 By Stanley, ibid. p. 583. 

3 " It is difiicult to acquit such passages as the follow- 
ing (xli. 1—7. 21—24; xliii. 8—13; xlv. 20, 21; xlvii. 
10 — 13), of impudent, and indeed suicidal mendacity, if they 
were not written before Cyrus appeared on the political scene " 
{Preb. Euxtable, in Br. W. Smith's Bibl. Diet. i. 886). 

* xlv. 3. 6. ^ Ixii. 4. 

b 2 


Besides, if Isalali, wlio was a divinely-inspired Prophet, could not be enabled to foretell clearly 
the restoration of the Jews by Cyrus, which took place about a century and a half after Isaiah'a 
death, how came it to pass that he was enabled to foretell with even greater distinctness (and with 
the clearness of an Evangelist) the restoration of the human race by Jesus Christ, more than 
700 j^ears after Isaiah's time ? 

And yet some of those who allege that this Second Portion was not written by Isaiah, are con- 
strained to allow that " these six-and-twenty " (seven-and-tweuty) " chapters are the most deeply 
inspired, the most truly evangelical portion of the prophetic writings '." Was the author of the 
" most deeply inspired and evangelical of all prophecies " not enabled to foretell clearly what 
would happen within two centuries after his own death ? 

It is also alleged that this Second Portion, containing these twenty-seven chapters, could not 
have been written by Isaiah, but was written by some Hebrew author in the time of the Chaldean 
Captivity, " because the standing-point of the writer is Babylon." 

But it may be replied, that this would prove a great deal too mnch ; for in some of these 
twenty-seven chapters the " standing-point of the writer" is not Babylon in the age of Cyrus, but 
it is Palestine in the age of Christ. The Prophet has no fixed stand-point. He is not riveted to 
one place ; " modo me Thebis, modo ponit Athenis ;" he is translated from his own age across an 
interval of seven centuries, and stands on the banks of the Jordan and hears the words of John the 
Baptist ^ He is present at Calvary, and beholds Christ on the cross ^ ; and he sees the " glory that 
should follow " the sufferings of Christ ; the extension of the Church militant, and the felicity of the 
Church triumphant. 

Some of the critics, who deny the genuineness of this Portion, and are pressed with this 
argument, resort to the bold expedient of denying that the writer of this Portion has any notion 
of a personal, suffering Messiah, even in the fifty-third chapter ; and they refuse to see Christ in it, 
and in the other prophecies concerning " the servant of the Lord " giving His back to the smiters 
and His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair ^ ; and they apply them to an ideal Israel, 
although the Holy Spirit in the New Testament expressly affirms that fifty-third chapter to 
have been fulfilled in Christ on the cross*. Thus, in order to be consistent in denying the 
genuineness of these twenty-seven chapters, they plunge from one depth of scepticism into another. 

Isaiah himself, in the first words of his prophecy, characterizes his prophecies as the vision ^ 
which he saio '. The words which are rendered vision and saw, are applied in the Hebrew Scriptures 
to objects at the greatest possible distance from the seer, even the last things of all ^ ; and therefore, 
even at the beginning of his Book, he prepares us for the revelation of future events far more 
distant than the return from Babylon. 

The fact, that various parts of these last twenty-seven chapters must have been composed at a 
time before the Captivity', is candidly admitted by some, who assert that the residue was not 
written by Isaiah ; and they therefore reject those parts as interpolations ^°. 

Nor is this all. It has been shown that the captivity of Judah at Babylon, and the destruction 
of Babylon, and the deliverance of Judah, are distinctly foretold, not only in the Second Portion 
of Isaiah, but in sundry chapters and sections of the First Portion also ". How is this to be 
accounted for ? Was Isaiah not the author of the First Portion ? To which question the objectors 
reply. We will not say this ; but those " chapters and sections in the First Portion are also spurious 

To such shifts are men reduced, when they reject the testimony of the ancient Hebrew Church, 
and of Christ Himself, authenticating the Hebrew Canon of the Holy Scriptures, and delivering 
them to us as genuine and inspired. Truly, Scepticism is cruel to its votaries ; and they who serve 
it, serve a hard task-master. They who believe Christ and His Church, believe One " Whose 
service is perfect freedom ;" but they who rely on themselves, or bow to the arbitrary dogmatism 
of some few Critics, who, in the eighteenth or nineteenth century, rise up in opposition to Christ and 
His Church, are the slaves of a merciless tyranny, which exacts from them an unlimited amount of 
credulity and vassalage. 

' Sfanlei/, ibid, p, 577. 2 xl. 3. ix. 21..- 

3 liii. 3—11. •• Ch. 1. 5, 6. » Such ns Ivi. 9— Ivii. 11 ; Ixi. 1-lxiii. 6 ; Ixiii. 7— Ixvi. 

5 See Mark xv. 28. Julm xii. 38. Acts viii. 32, 33 — 35. '" So Ewald, and after bini, partly, Stanley, p. 583, who 

1 Pet. ii. 24. says that Ivi. 9 — Ivii., "has all the api^oarance of an earlier 

8 Heb. chdzon. 7 Heb. ohazuh. fragment incorporated." 

* See Job xix. 26. Ps. xvii. 15. Isa. xxxiii. 17. Duu. vii. 13; i^ See chaps, xii., xiii., xlv. xxi. xxxi.v. 3 — 7. 


The Second Portion of Isaiah is found in the many hundred extant Manuscripts of the 
original Hebrew Copies and Ancient Versions of Isaiah in various languages. 

If these twenty-seven chapters had been forged in the name of Isaiah more than a century and 
a half after Isaiah's age, and after the destruction of Jerusalem, it is absolutely impossible that they 
should have found their way into all the copies of Isaiah in the hands of the Ten Tribes of Israel, 
and of the Two tribes of Judah, then separated from one another, and scattered in innumerable places 
over the vast empire of the East, and have been received hy them all as the genuine production of 
Isaiah, and as the inspired Word of God. 

The Holy Spirit cites this Second Portion by name as the work of Isaiah the prophet. It 
is expressly ascribed to Isaiah by Him, speaking by the Apostles and Evangelists in the Christian 
Scriptures '. The Book which was given to our Blessed Lord in the Synagogue at Nazareth, and 
which contained this Second Portion, is called " the Book of Esaias the Projjhet ^." And what was 
named the Book of Isaiah by the whole ancient Hebrew Church, and what is declared to be the 
Book of Isaiah by the Holy Ghost in the New Testament, and what was received as the Book of Isaiah 
by Jesus Christ Himself, and by His holy Apostles and Evangelists, and by the Ancient Universal 
Church of Christ, and was never ascribed to any one else but Isaiah for sixteen centuries 
after Christ, will surely be received as the genuine work of Isaiah by all who revere the divine 
autliority of Christ and of the Holy Spirit, and who, in their journey through this transitory life, 
love to be like the faithful Ethiopian, who had the care of all the treasure of Queen Candace, 
and felt, to his inexpressible joy, that he held in his hands a far greater treasure than all, 
when he sat in his chariot and was reading one of these twenty-seven chapters, — namely, the 
fifty-third, a chapter quoted five times in the New Testament, — and when St. Philip the Evangelist 
joined himself to his chariot, and preached to him Jesus from that chapter, and baptized him in the 
Name of Christ ; and of whom it is said by the sacred historian, that in reading that fifty-third 
chapter he was " reading Esaias the Prophet ^." 

The most important Commentaries on Isaiah are — 

1. By ancient Christian Expositors, those of 8. Jerome, 8. Cyril o? Alexandria, and Theodoret ; 
the two former are of great value. The Exposition of 8. Chrysostom extends only to the first eight 
chapters ; and that of 8. Basil to chapters i. — xvi. The writings of 8. Justin Martyr, especially his 
Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, abound with expository remarks oh Isaiah. 

2. Later Interpreters, Calvin, Maldonatus, Forerius, Corn. A. Lapide, W. Loicth, M. Henry, Vare- 
niiis, and especially Camj)eyius Vitringa, 2 vols, folio, Leovardiae, 1724, ed. nov., an inestimable 

3. Of more recent Commentators may be mentioned, Bj). Lowth ; Rosenm'tlUcr, 1829 ; Geseniits, 
1821-29 ; ^//'2?V/, 1833 ; Eendeicerk, 1836-44; Henderson, 1840; Umhreit, 1841; Knohel,lM^', 
Drechsler (chapters i. — xxvii.), 1845-49, completed by Delitzsch; Alexander, 1848; 8chegg, 1850; 
Meier (the first half), 1850 ; Caspari, the first five chapters ; 8tier, 1850, the last twenty-seven 
chapters ; and especially Delitzsch (Leipz., 1866), whose excellent Commentary has been translated 
into English by the Rev. James Martin, and published in Clark'' s Foreign Theological Library. 
2 vols, Edinburgh, 1867. 

' See the passages cited below, on xl. 3. ^ Luke Iv. 17. Cp. Luke ili 4. Jolm i. 23. ' Acts viii. 30—39. 


Some of the Prophets, e.g. Hosea and Isaiah, prophesied during a much longer time than 
others ; and therefore some of their prophecies may be later in date than some of the prophecies of 
Prophets who began to prophesy after them. Their dates for the most part cannot be precisely 
determined. It is probable that the books of most of the Prophets contain the substance and 
pith of prophecies delivered by them at intervals on several occasions. In the following Table, some 
modifications have been adopted of that order which is exhibited in the Table prefixed to Isaiah. 











For a 
refer to the 
to Ezra, p. 

In the days of Jeroboam IL, King of Israel, and Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, 
and Hezekiah, Kings of Judah 

In the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, Kings of Judah 

Probably in the days of Uzziah, King of Judah .... 

In the days of Jeroboam II., King of Israel, and Uzziah, King of Judah 

Probably in the days of Uzziah ....... 

Probably in the days of Uzziah ....... 

In the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, Kings of Judah. Cp. 
Jer. xxvi. 18 ......... . 

Probably in the reign of Hezekiah, King of Judah 

Probably in the reign of Manasseh or Josiah, Kings of Judah 

In the days of Josiah, King of Judah ...... 

From the thirteenth year of Josiah, and in the reigns of Jehoahaz "^ 

(Shallum), Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin (Jeconiah, or Coniah), and Zedekiah, V629 — 580 
Kings of Judah, and after the destruction of Jerusalem . . J 

From the fifth year of Jehoiachin's captivity, and in the reign of 
Zedekiah, and after the destruction of Jerusalem 

In the days of Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius, and Cyrus 

In the second year of Darius Hystas'pes .... 

Associated with Haggai ... ..... 

" The Seal of the Prophets " 

synoptical view of the historical events of the above period, the reader is requested to 
Chronological Table prefixed to the Books of Kings, pp. xx — xxii, and the Introduction 




in the time 



)- 710— 625. 







1 THE '^ vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw conceraing Judah 
and Jerusalem, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings 
of Judah. 





a Num. 12. C. 

Isaiah and Deuteeonomt. 

Ch. I.] This chapter to v. 27 was appointed by the ancient 
Hebrew Church to be read in the synagogues as the Haphtarah 
or prophetical proper lesson, together with the beginning of 
Deuteronomy (Deut. i. 1 to iii. 22) ; also all the Haphtarahs, or 
prophetical Proper Lessons appointed to be read together with 
Deuteronomy, to the end of the thirtieth chapter of that Book, 
are taken from Isaiah. 

This is remarkable. It declared the sense of the ancient 
Hebrew Church, that Isaiah stands in an intimate relation to 
Deuteeonomy. Indeed, the opening words of Isaiah's pro- 
phecies, " Hear, heavens, and give ear, O earth," are an echo 
of those of Moses in his prophetic song, in Deuteronomy (xxxii. 
1; cp. xxxi. 28, 29). Isaiah was filled with the Spirit which 
animated Moses, and, like him, he appeals to the heavens and 
the earth, which were created by Jehovah, the God of Israel, 
and which faithfully observed the laws imposed upon them by 
their Creator, and which were witnesses of the giving of the Law 
at Sinai, and which had seen the unthankfulness and apostasy 
of Israel, and which would be witnesses also of the fulfilment of 
his prophecies in future ages and at the Great Day. 

This connexion of Isaiah with Deuteronomy in spirit and 
language, which produced the juxtaposition of the one with the 
other in the ancient Hebrew Calendar, supplies a strong argu- 
ment for the genuineness of Deuteronomy, and affords a refuta- 
tion of the strange theory of some in modern times assigning its 
composition to Jeremiah. See above, Introd. to Deuteronomy, 
pp. 195 — 208; cp. Delitzsch here on v. 2. 

These first five chapters of Isaiah form an Inteodttctoet 
and compendious Peophect concerning Jeeusalem and the 
Chuech, from the days of Isaiah to those of Christ, and even 
to His Second Coming. 

These first five chapters are like a Peophetical Peo- 
XOQUE to the whole book ; and they are like a Peophetical 
StrsiMAEY of it. They foretell the taking of Jerusalem by the 
Chaldean armies, and the captivity of its people for their sins 
(v. 13 — 30), and the later destruction of the City by the 
Romans, and the merciful alleviation of that judgment, by the 
blessings consequent on Christ's first coming ; the going forth 
of the Gospel from Zion to all the world (ii. 3), and the exten- 
sions of the Church, which had its origin in Jerusalem, unto all 
Nations of the World, and the Second Coming of Christ. See 
ii. 12—22. 

Therefore wth great propriety has the Church of England 
appointed these first two chapters of Isaiah to be read as Proper 
Lessons on Advent Sunday, and the fifth chapter to be read 
on the Second Sunday in Advent. 

1. The vision— which he s«w] These words give the clue to 
the right interpretation of what follows. The description which 
we are about to read of the moral and religious state of Judah 
and Jerusalem is a very unfavourable one; and yet it was 
written during the time of Uzziah (see below, vi. 1), who was 
one of the best of the kings of Judah (see 2 Kings xv. 1 — 3), at 
least as long as he listened to Zechariab, " who had understand- 
ing in the visions of God" (2 Chron. xxvi. 5). But Isaiah was 
enabled to see the moral corruption which was hirking beneath 
the fair surface of external forms and specious sliows of reli- 
VoL. V. Paet I.— 1 

gion ; and he was also enabled to foresee the results of it in the 
future outbursts of open rebellion against God, and in the pour- 
ing out of His wrath and indignation on the people in the 
Babylonish captivity, and even (as S. Cyril and S. Jerome 
observe) in the Roman siege and destruction of Jerusalem, and 
in the scattering of its inhabitants over the face of the earth; 
and also to foretell the gracious visitations which awaited the 
faithful in Christ. See vv. 26, 27, " I will restore thy judges as 
at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning. After- 
ward thou shalt be called the city of righteousness, the faithful 
city. Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts 
with righteousness." This could only be said of the Zion of 
Christ, and of the Apostles. See below, ii. 2, 3. 

The Expositors, who have neglected this clue, have placed 
the composition of this chapter in the days of Ahaz, in the time 
of the invasion of the Syrians and Israelites (Geseiiius, Rosen- 
miiller, Maurer, Movers, Knobel, Hdvernick) ; and others have 
brought it down to the time of the Assyrian Invasion in the 
reign of Hezekiah {Sitzig, JJmhreit, Drechsler ; see Delitzsch 
on V. 31) ; and much confusion has thus been introduced into 
the order of Isaiah's prophecies. 

The word vision solves the difficulties which these Expositors 
have found in the language of this chapter. The whole Book 
is well called a vision, Hebr. chazon, connected with the words 
chazah, to see (cp. Amos i. 1. Mic. i. 1. Hab. i. 1), and with 
the word chozeh, a seer ; see 2 Sam. xxiv. 11. 2 Kings xvii. 13; 
and rendered prophet below, xxx. 10. It reveals the fai'-off 
future as present to the sight. 

The unfavourable picture drawn by Isaiah in this and other 
parts of his prophecies (see chapters xxix.; xlviii. 1 — 8; liii. 1; 
Iviii. 1—13; lix. 1 — 14; Ixv. 1 — 7; Ixvi. 1—4), and the con- 
trast which he presents of the obstinacy and unbelief of the 
Jews to the docihty and faith of the Gentiles receiving the 
Gospel, are strong evidences of Isaiah's courage, and also of the 
inspiration of his prophecies. The Jews would never have 
received and read in their synagogues such a censure on 
themselves, and such an eulogy on the Gentiles, if they had 
not been convinced that it was from God. 

— of Isaiah^ A providential name, signifying salvation of 
Jehovah, and very appropriate for the " EvangeUcal Prophet " 
who speaks in this Book. 

— Amoz'] Supposed by some Hebrew Rabbis to have been 
brother of Amaziah, king of Judah (Seder Olam, and the 
Gemara, Cod. Megill. fol. x. col. ii), but this is very 

— Judah and Jerusaleni] And which he saw also concerning 
other Nations in relation to Judah and Jerusalem (xiii. — xxiii.). 
The Cliurch of God, under Christ its Head, is the centre to 
which all the prophecies of Holy Scripture converge. 

— Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah] Kings of Judah 
from B.C. 810 to B.C. 698 (see above, the Chronological Table 
in the Introduction to Kings and Chronicles, p. xxi.). _ It is 
probable that Isaiah survived Hezekiah ; for he wrote a history 
of his reign (2 Chron. xxxii. 32), and there is a c/ediblo tradi- 
tion that Isaiah suffered martyrdom under Hezekiah's sou and 
successor Manasseh. See above, on 2 Kings xxi. 16, and below, 
on Heb. xi. 37 ; and Hengst., Lecture on Isaiah, pp. 360— 


Vision of the future 

ISAIAH I. 2—9. 

desolation of Jerusalem, 

b Deut. 32. 1. 
Jer. 2. 12. & 
6. 19. & 22. 29. 
Ezek. 36. 4. 
Micah 1. 2 & 
6. 1, 2. 
c ch. 5. 1, 2. 
d Jer. 8. 7. 

e Jer. 9. 3, 6. 

f ch. 5. 12. 

t Heb. ofheari 


gch. 57. 3, 4. 

Matt. 3. 7. 

t Heb. alienated, 

or, separated, 

Vs. 58. 3. 

h ch. 9. 13. 

Jer. 2. 30. & 5. 3. 

t Heb. increase 


i Jer. 8. 22. 

II Or, oil. 

k Deut. 28.51,52. 

t Heb. as the 
overthrow of 
ttr angers. 
1 Job 2 7. 18. 
Lam. 2. 6. 

m Jer. 4. 17. 

n Lam. 3. 22. 
Rom. 9. 29. 
o Gen. 19. 24. 

2 ^ Hear, heavens, and give ear, earth : 

For the Lokd hath spoken, 

" I have nourished and brought up children, 

And they have rebelled against me. 
2 ^ The ox knoweth his owner. 

And the ass his master's crib : 

But Israel ^ doth not know. 

My people ^ doth not consider. 
^ Ah sinful nation, a people f laden with iniquity, 

^ A seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters : 

They have forsaken the Lord, 

They have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, 

They are f gone away backward. 
5 •> Why should ye be stricken any more ? 

Ye will f revolt more and more : 

The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. 
® From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it ; 

But wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores : 

'They have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with 
II ointment. 
^ ^ Your country is desolate, 

Your cities are burned with fire : 

Your land, strangers devour it in your presence, 

And it is desolate, f as overthrown by strangers. 
^ And the daughter of Zion is left ' as a cottage in a vineyard. 

As a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, 

•" As a besieged city. 
^ " Except the Loed of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, 

We should have been as " Sodom, 

2. Sear, O heavens'] An appeal derived from Moses in Deut. 
iv. 26; XXX. 19; xxxi. 28; xxxii. See above. Prelim. Note. 

— • I have nourished and brovght up children'] Israel is 
God's son (Exod. iv. 22, 23), His most favoured child (Jer. 
xxxi. 9). 

3. The ox — and the ass] The prophet had appealed to the 
heavens, which obey the law of their being (cp. Iloolcer's 
eloquent words, E. P. I. ; iii. 2), and now he descends to the 
lower animals of creation. They also are witnesses against the 
unthankfulness and apostasy of Israel, and condemn it; as 
Jeremiah says, " The stork in the heavens knoweth her ap- 
pointed times ; and the turtle and the crane and tlie swallow 
observe the time of their coming ; but My people know not the 
judgment of the Lord" (Jer. viii. 7). 

4. Ah !] Hebr. hoi, rendered -ah ! also v. 24. In six places 
in ch. V. it is rendered woe, and in eleven other places in this 
book, and in four places in Jeremiah, and always in Ezekiel, 
Amos, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk ; in one place in Isaiah it is 
rendered by O (x. 5), and in one by ho ! (Iv. 1), the only place 
where it does not seem to imply pain and sorrow. 

— sinful nation] Instead of being " a holy nation, a king- 
dom of priests" (Exod. xix. 6). 

— they have jprovoked — to anger] Probably by blasphemy 
(Vulg.) ; cp. 2 Sam. xii. 14. Ps. Ixxiv. 10. 18, where the same 
verb (naats) is used, and below, Iii. 5 ; cp. xxxvii. 3, where the 
cognate substantive occurs. 

— - the Holy One of Israel] A very solemn appellation oc- 
curring in three places of the Psalms, all of them emphatical ; 
Ps. Ixxi. 22 ; Ixxviii. 41 ; Ixxxix. 18, and only once in the his- 
torical Books ; and there it is uttered by Isaiah himself, 2 Kings 
xix. 22. It occurs twenty-five times in Isaiah; twice only in 
Jeremiah, 1. 29; li. 5; once only In Ezekiel, xxxix. 7, and is 
never used by any other prophet. The occurrence of this appel- 
lation in hoth portions of the prophecies of Isaiah equally, is a 

strong argument for the genuineness of the latter portion 
(chap. xl. to the end). 

5. ye will revolt] Rather, interrogatively, will ye revolt 
more and more ? 

6. not been closed] Or, not been pressed together {Oesen. 
242 ; Fuerst, 390). 

— ointment] Rather, oil. 

7. Your country is desolate] The Prophet has a vision of the 
future miseries which the nation, though now enjoying peace 
under Uzziah, is bringing upon itself by its sins ; see on v. 1. 
He takes up the language of Moses in Leviticus (xxvi.), and 
Deuteronomy (xxviii. 20—58), and foresees and foretells the 
accomplishment of this denunciation (Caspari). 

8. the daughter of Zion] Jerusalem, the city grouped round 
the fortress, and nestling beneath its shade (cp. x. 32 ; xvi. 1. 
Zech. ix. 9 ; and above, on Ps. ii., p. 3). 

— is left as a cottage in a vineyard] The lonely tem- 
porary booth of the watchman guarding the vineyard before 
the vintage ; cp. Job xxvii. 18, " a booth that the keeper 

— a lodge] For sleeping in at night ; a hammock slung up 
on a tree (Gesen. 476). 

9. a very small remnant] A band of refugees (see Deut. ii, 
34 ; iii. 3, where the same word sarid is used ; cp. Gesen. 795), 
a mere handful. St. Paul teaches us to extend this prophecy to 
the last days of Jerusalem (Rom. ix. 29), and thus helps us to 
understand it as reaching forward from the age of Isaiah even 
to the days of Christ ; cp. on i. 1. As S. Jerome well says 
here, " What is uttered in this prophecy is not to be referred 
to the Chaldean invasion, but to that of the Romans. It fore- 
tells the time when the remnant of Jerusalem was saved, in and 
by the Apostles of Christ, and 3000 believed in one day (Acts 
ii. 41), and the Gospel was preached to the world." 

Woe to vain slioivs of 

ISAIAH I. 10—20. 

religion — Piepent ! 


And we should have been like unto Gomorrah. 
Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers ^ of Sodom ; 

Give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. 
^^ To what purpose is the multitude of your ''sacrifices unto me ? saith the Lord : 

I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts ; 

And I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of f he goats. 
^- When ye come f 'to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, 

To tread my courts ? 
^^ Bring no more 'vain oblations ; incense is an abomination unto me ; 

The new moons and sabbaths, Hhe calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; 

It is II iniquity, even the solemn meeting. 
^^ Your "new moons and your ''appointed feasts my soul hatetli : 

They are a trouble unto me ; ^ I am weary to bear them. 
^^ And "■ when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you : 

" Yea, when ye f make many prayers, I will not hear : 

Your hands are full of '^ f blood. 

*" Wash you, make you clean ; put away the evil of your doings from before 
mine eyes ; 

•* Cease to do evil ; ^^ learn to do well ; 

* Seek judgment, || relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the 
Come now, and ^ let us reason together, saith the Lord : 

Though your sins be as scarlet, ^ they shall be as white as snow ; 

Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 
^^ If ye be wilhng and obedient. 

Ye shall eat the good of the land : 
^^ But if ye refuse and rebel, 

Ye shall be devoured with the sword : 

'' For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. 




p Deut. 32, 32. 
Ezek. 10. 46. 

q 1 Sam. 15. 22. 

Ps. 50. 8, 9. & 

51. 16. 

Piov. 15. 8. & 


ch. 66. 3. 

Jer. 6.20. & 7.21. 

Amos. 5. 21, 22. 

Micah 6. 7. 

t Heb. great 


t Heb. to be seen. 

r Exod. 23. 17. 

& 34.23. 

s Matt. 15. 9. 

t Joel 1. 14. & 

2. 15. 

II Or, grief. 

u Num. 28. 11. 

X Lev. 23. 2, &c. 

Lam. 2. 6. 

y ch. 43. 24. 

z Job 27. 9. 
Ps, 134.2. 
Prov. 1 . 28. 
ch. 59. 2. 
Jer. 14. 12. 
Micah 3. 4. 
a Ps. 00. 18. 
] Tim. 2. 8. 
+ Heb. mulliply 
b ch. 59. 3. 
t Heb. bloods. 
c Jer. 4. 14. 

d Ps. 34. 14. & 
37. 27. 
Amos. 5. 15. 
Rom. 12. 9. 

I Pet 3. II. 

e Jer. 22. 3, 16. 
Micah 6. 8. 
Zech. 7. 9. & 
8. 16. 

II Or, righten. 
f ch. 43. 26. 
Micah 6. 2, 
gPs. 51.7. 
Rev. 7. 14. 

h Num. 23. 19. 
Tit. I. 2. 

10. ye rulers of Sodom] A noble apostrophe ; ye will be 
desolate as Sodom ; yes, because ye " declare your sin as 
Sodom " (iii. 9). Siou is another Sodom in sin and punish- 
ment. Cp. Deut. xxxii. 32, " Their vine is of the vine of Sodom, 
and of the fields of Gomorrah," and Ezek. xvi. 46, and Rev. 
xi. 8; and Isaiah is a second Lot, a preacher of righteousness 
and of judgment to come. The sun may shine brightly, the 
landscape may look beautiful ; but the Prophet hears the dis- 
tant rumbling of the coming storm of desolation, and sees the 
LoED rising from His throne, to rain down the fire of His 
wrath on the guilty city. 

11. To what purpose'] The people of Jerusalem pleaded their 
displays of religious zeal and devotion in the services and sacri- 
fices of the Temple, and in their festal observances, as a bar to 
the Prophet's severe verdict upon them. But he rejects the 
plea, and exclaims, " To what pui-pose is the multitude of your 
sacrifices?" They are mere empty shows; hypocritical masks 
and disguises ; leaves of the fig-tree without tlie fruit. There- 
fore the tree will be withered by the breath of God (Matt. xxi. 
19. Mark xi. 13). His prophecy extends oven to that act of 
our Lord ; and to the outburst of His fury in the pouring out 
of the vials of His wrath in the conflagration of the Temple 
by the armies of Rome. 

— nnio me] Observe the rapid transition with which the 
Prophet passes from what he says in his own person (v. 9) to 
what the Lord says by him. This is genuine inspiration : cp. v. 18. 

— I am full — he goats] For I desire obedience, repentance, 
and mercy, rather than sacrifice (1 Sam. xv. 22. Ps. li. 16). 
And the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to Me (Prov. 
XV. 8; xxi. 27. Amos v. 21. Cp. Davison on Prophecy, 
pp. 207, 208. Ed. Oxf. 1856). 

12. to tread my courts] Who hath required this of you — 
merely to tread the floor of My com-ts witli your feet, when 


your heart is far from Me, and when you walk not in the 
paths of My law ? Cp. note above, on Eccles. v. 1, " Keep thy 
foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready 
to hear (i. e. to obey) than to give the sacrifice of fools, for 
they consider not that they do evil;" and see Mic. vi. 6 — 8, 
and see Rev. xi. 2, where there is a description of mere formal 
religion combined with much internal corruption, 

13. vain oblations] Literally, with great emphasis, lying 
meat-offerings ; your very incense is abomination to me. 

— It is iniquity, even the solemn meeting] The words " it 
is" are not in the original, and would be better omitted; the 
sentence runs on in a continuous rapid stream. I cannot away 
with — iniquity, even' the solemn meeting. The combination of 
iniquity and the jDompous religious ceremonial — the solemn 
meeting in My courts — is execrable to Me. " Wash you, make 
you clean," if you desire to be accepted. Ye "spread forth 
your hands" in prayer, but those "hands are full of blood" 
(cp. Amos V. 21), 

18. Come noio, and let us reason together] The mention of 
judicial processes in the foregoing verse suggests the thought 
that there is another great judicial process to be gone through 
between the Lord and His people, in which they must plead 
guilty. But He graciously remits the sentence, and ofl'ers free 
l^ardon on the condition of their repentance. God speaks by 
the Prophet ; He speaks in him with divine authority. The 
Prophet's personality is absorbed into the Divine Majesty of 
Him Whose messenger he is; cp. v. 11. 

20. Ye shall be devoured] Lit. ye shall be eaten. The con- 
trast here is marked by the repetition of the word. If ye obey, 
ye shall eat — if not, ye shall be eaten by the sword — the edge 
of which in Hebrew, as in Greek, is called its mouth. 

— the motith of the Lord hath spoken it] This sentence is 
the Divine seal set on Isaiah's prophecies; see xxi, 17; xxii. 
25; xxiv. 3; xxv. 8; xl. 5; Iviii. 14. 

B 2 

Prophecy of grace 

ISAIAH I. 21—31. 

and of judgment to come. 





iJer, 2. 20, 21. 

k Jer. 6. 28, 30. 
Ezek. 22. 18, 19. 

IHos. 9 15. 
in Prov. 29. 24. 
n Jer. 22. 17. 
Ezek. 22. 12. 
Hos. 4. 18. 
MicahS. 11. & 
7. 3. 

o Jer. 5. 28. 
Zech. 7. 10. 

p Deut. 28. 63. 
Kzek. 5. 13. 

t Heb. according 
to purenesf. 
q Jer. 6. 29. & 
9. 7. 

Mai. 3. 3. 
r Jer. 33. 7. 



s Zech. 8. 3. 

n Or, they that 
return of her. 
t Job 31. 3. 
Pa. 1. 6. & 5. 6. 
& 73.27. & 92.9. 
& 104. 35. 
t Heb. breaking. 

u ch. 57. 5. 

X ch. 65. 3. & 
66. 17. 

y Ezek. 32. 21. 
z ch. 43. 17. 
II Or, and bit 

2^ ' How is the faithful city become an harlot ! 

It was full of judgment ; righteousness lodged in it ; 
But now murderers. 

22 -c 'pj^y silver is become dross, 
Thy wine mixed with water : 

23 1 Q^i^y princes are rebellious, and *" companions of thieves : 
" Every one loveth gifts, and foUoweth after rewards : 
They "judge not the fatherless. 

Neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them. 

Therefore saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, 

Ah, P I will ease me of mine adversaries, 

And avenge me of mine enemies : 
And I will turn my hand upon thee, 

And f '^ purely purge away thy dross. 

And take away all thy tin : 
2^ And I will restore thy judges "■ as at the first, 

And thy counsellers as at the beginning : 

Afterward ' thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city. 
^'^ Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, 

And II her converts with righteousness. 
And the *f destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall he 

And they that forsake the Lord shall be consumed. 

For they shall be ashamed of " the oaks which ye have desired, 

''And ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen, 
so Pqj. ye siiall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth. 

And as a garden that hath no water. 
^^ y And the strong shall be ^ as tow, 

II And the maker of it as a spark. 

And they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them. 



21. Sow is the faithful city become an harlof] The Hebrew 
Nation, espoused in mystical wedlock to Jehovah at Sinai, has 
become a harlot, by following strange gods. On this metaphor 
see above, Prelim. Note to Prov. viii., and the Introd. to the 
Song of Solomon, p. 124, and below, on Rev. xvii. 1, p. 252. 

— righteousness lodged in it~\ Compare the personification in 
Ps. Iv. 9. 

22. mixed with water'] Literally, tvounded, stahhed, with 
water ; as the Latin Poet expresses it, 

" Scelus est jugulare Falernum " 

{Martial, i. 19. 5). 

24. the Lord, the Lord of hosts'] The title which God as- 
sumes in the prophecies of Isaiah jvhen He is about to announce 
His judicial visitations. See iii. 1 ; x. 16. 33 ; xix. 4. 

25. purely] So Sept., 'Fulg., and Vitringa ; or it may mean 
(as some Hebrew Expositors say) as with alkali {Gesen. 138. 
142 ; Fuerst, 234, and Delitzsch here). 

— tin] Rather, lead, the alloy of silver mentioned in v. 22 
(Gesen. 103). 

The purpose of all God's judicial visitations on Jerusalem, 
especially in the Babylonish Captivity and the destruction of 
Jerusalem by the Romans, was a righteous and merciful one ; 
namely, to refine and purge her people in the furnace of afflic- 
tion, and to smelt away the dross from the pure ore. 

26. I'will restore thy judges— thou shalt he called — the 
faithful city] This was fulfilled in Christ and in His Apostles, 

and in those faithful multitudes who were brought into the 
true Ziou of His Church by the Evangelical preaching after the 
taking of Jerusalem. See S. Cyril, and ;S'. Jerome, who says, 
" Hajc perspicu^ de Ecclesia, quae in Dominum creditura est." 

27. Zion shall be redeemed with jtidgment, and her converts 
with righteousness] The righteous and judicial visitations of 

the Lord have their merciful ends in redeeming from the 
bondage of Sin and Satan the converts of Zion, those who turn 
to Sim with true repentance. " As many as I love, I chasten ; 
be zealous therefore and repent" (Rev. iii. 19). The bright 
sun of God's love shines behind the dark thunder-clouds of His 
justice. Cp. iv. 4. 

There is another interpretation of these words which is not 
to be neglected. The judgment of which the Prophet speaks, 
may be interpreted as signifying God's justice requiring a satis- 
faction and propitiation, which was made by Chi'ist's sinless 
sacrifice of Himself; and the righteousness may designate the 
perfect righteousness of Christ, offering Himself as au atone- 
ment. See below, on Rom. iii. 24, and Vitringa here, 

28. And] Or, But. 

29. oaks (or, terebinths) — and gardens] Objects of idolatry, 
and resorts for false worship. Deut. xvi. 21. Ezek. vi. 13 ; 
below, Ivii. 5 ; Ixv. 3 ; Ixvi. 17. 

30. an oak] Or, terebinth, usually green, but now withered. 
He takes up the words terebinth and garden from the former 
verse, and says, that they themselves who resort to the shade of 
terebinths and the secret haunts of gardens, to practise their 
idol-worship, shall be like a blighted terebinth, and a parched- 
up garden. This taking up and repetition of words from a 
previous sentence may be noted as characteristic of Isaiah's 
style ; it is called palindromy (or running back) by some 
writers; we have examples of it in vv. 9, 10, and in 13, 14; 
22. 25, in this chapter. Cp. ii. 9. 11. 17. 

31. and the maker of it] Rather, and his work (Sept., 
Yulg., the Targum, Vitringa, Gesen., Del.), i. e. his idol. 
The strong man shall be weak as tow, and his idol — the 
wooden image which he worships — shall be like a spark to set 
him on fire. Sin is the match which ignites the sinner with 
tlie fire of the punishment that will consume him. 

The Church spreading forth 

ISAIAH II. 1—4. 

from Zion to enfold the world. 

II. ^ The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and 

- And ^ it shall come to pass *' in the last days, 

" That the mountain of the Lord's house shall be || established in the top of 
the mountains, 

And shall be exalted above the hills ; 

''And all nations shall flow unto it. 
2 And many people shall go and say, 

^ Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, 

To the house of the God of Jacob ; 

And he will teach us of his ways. 

And we will walk in his paths : 

^ For out of Zion shall go forth the law. 

And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 
^ And he shall judge among the nations, 

And shall rebuke many people : 

And ^ they shall beat their swords into plowshares. 

And their spears into || pruninghooks : 


a Micah 4. I 
b Gen. 49. 1. 
Jer. 23. 20. 
c Ps. 08. 15, 16, 
U Or, prepared. 

A Ps. 72. 8. 
ch. 27. 13. 

e Jer. 31. 6. & 


Zech. 8. 21, 23. 

f Luke 24. 47. 

g Ps. 46 9. 
Hos. 2. 18. 
Zech. 9. 10. 
II Or, scythes. 

The Future Exaitatiok of Zion, as the Mothee 
Chuech of ail Cheistendom. 

Ch. II.] From a denunciation of judgment, with which the 
former prophecy closes, Isaiah returns to the announcement of 
grace and glory (which had been recorded in some of its bright 
gleams in i. 25 — 27), and displays them in fuller splendour, in 
a prediction of the exaltation of Zion as the Mother Church of 

1. The word that Isaiah— saw"] The seer, being in a pro- 
phetic ecstasy, becomes, as it were, all eye, and sees, with the 
optical organ of his spirit, the ijcord which God speaks. This 
mode of speech proceeds from the fact that the eye has more 
sensibility than the ear: — 

" Segnius irritant animos demissa per aurem, 
Quam quae sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus " 

{Rorat., A. P. 180). 

2. And it shall come to pass"] This prophecy of grace is 
linked on to the foregoing one of judgment by the initial 
vau {and), as is the case in Micah iv. 1 — 4, where the same 
words occur. The declaration prefixed to this prophecy, that 
it is the tvord which Isaiah saw, seems to intimate that it was 
given first to Isaiah, and afterwards repeated by God to Micah. 
But the question of priority is of minor importance. The words 
are the words of the Holy Ghost ; and it matters Httle by 
whose mouth He first uttered them. 

— in the last dai/s^ Or, in the end of the days, that is, in the 
time of the Messiah. It is a phrase taken up from the 
prophecy of Jacob on his death-bed (Gen. xlix. 1), and of 
Balaam (Num. xxiv. 14), speaking of the Messiah, and con- 
tinued in the New Testament. See Acts ii. 17. Heb. i. 2. 
1 Pet. i. 5. 20. 2 Pet. ili. 3. 

— the mountain of the Loed's house shall be established 
in the top of the mountains^ Though despised by the world, 
in comparison with the lofty mountains of Basan, and other 
huge emblems of earthly power (see above, on the Pentecostal 
Psalm, Ps. Ixviii. 15, 16), the lowly hill of Zion, on which God's 
Church is built, will be exalted above them all. 

This has been fulfilled already in part (as is noted by 
S. Cyril, JSusebius, and S. Athanasius) in the spiritual eleva- 
tion of SlON into an Evangelical SiNAl (if we may so speak), 
to which God's presence was vouchsafed in Christ, teaching in 
the Temple, and dying and rising again, and ascending into 
heaven, and in His sending forth of the Apostles from Sion to 
preach the Gospel, and to baptize all Nations into the Name 
of the Blessed Trinity; and in the coming down of the Holy 
Spirit upon them in Sion, in order to enable them to evangelize 
the World ; and it will be completely accomplished, when the 
kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of the Lord, 
and of His Christ (Rev. xi. 15). 

— all nations shall floto unto if] It shall be more glorious 
than the Hebrew Temple, to which devout Jews flocked from 


all parts of the world at the great yearly festivals. All nations 
shall floto together, with the eager and joyous streaming 
onwards of mighty rivers, into the common sea of the CathoUc 
Church. Cp. Matt, xxviii. 19. Mark xvi. 15. 

Observe the Evangelical paradox here. In the natural 
world rivers flow doivn from mountains; but in the spiritual 
world, the streams of nations are made by God's grace to run 
together upward to the mountain of God's Church. Here 
also is the antithesis of Babel, which means confusion. There, 
men's language was confounded, and they flowed away into 
different lands. Here, all in different lands are united and 
flow together into one. See above, note on Gen. xi. 8; and 
below. Acts ii. 6. 

3. out of Zion shall go forth the law] As it did at Pentecost. 
See Luke xxiv. 47—49. Acts i. 4 ; ii. 1—8. 39—41. There 
is a comparison between Sinai and Sion. The Law was given 
to Moses at Sinai, and that Law was written on tables of stone ; 
but the Gospel, the fulfilment of the Law, is given to all the 
world at Sion, and is written on the heart by the Holy Ghost. 
Thus all the glory of Sinai is transferred to Sion, and is 
absorbed into it. Sinai melts away into Sion. See above, on 
the Pentecostal Psalm, Ixviii. 17. 

The Church which was first founded at Jerusalem, was the 
seminary or seed-plot of all Churches of Christendom. And 
well might the prophet say, that the Law shall go forth from 
Zion ; for the Gospel streamed forth with its living waters 
from that fountain and well-spring, and irrigated the world 
{S. Jerome). 

See below, on lix. 20; and chaps. Ix. Ixi. Ixii. Ixv. 10; 
Ixvi. 10. 

4. many people — they shall beat their swords into plow- 
shares, and their spears into pruning-hooks] A prophecy of 
the diffusion of the Holy Spirit of peace, which is the cha- 
racteristic of the Gospel of Christ, Who is " the Prince of 
Peace," at Whose birth the angels sang, "Glory to God in 
the highest ; and on earth peace" (Luke ii. 14). 

The contrast to this is in the words of the Latin poet, 
describing the warhke temper of his time : — 

" Squalent abductis arva colonis, 
Et curva3 rigidum falces coufiantur in ensem " 

{Virg. Georg. i. 507). 

Although this prophecy has not been yet fully accom- 
plished in fact, yet great is the change that has been already 
wrought in the world by Christianity, wherever its principles 
have been received and acted on : whence the early Fathers do 
not hesitate to apply this prophecy to their own times (see 
Justin Martyr, Apol. i. 39, p. 216; Tertullian, c. Marcion, 
iii. 21 ; and so Arnobius, Contra Gentes, i. 5 ; Vitringa, 
p. 74) ; and if men would comply with God's commands, and 
profit duly by His grace, it woiJd be fully verified. And this 
seems to bo the sense of this and other prophecies, such as 

GocVs Future Judgment 

ISAIAH 11. 5—15. 

of all earthly adversaries. 





hPs. 72. 3, 7. 

i Eph. 5. 8, 

11 Or, more tha, 
the east. 
k Num. 23. 7. 
1 Deut. 18. 14. 
m Ps. 106. 35. 
Jer. 10. 2. 
{{ Or, abound 
with the chil- 
dren, Sj-c. 
nDeut. 17. 16, 


p ver. 19, 21. 
Rev. 6. 15. 

q ver. 17. 

ch. 5. 15, 16. & 

13. 11. 

r ch. 4. 1. & 

11. 10, 11. & 

12. 1, 4. & 24. 21. 
& 25. 9. & 26. 1. 
&27. 1, 2, 12, 13. 
& 28. 5. & 29. 18. 
& 30. 23. & 52. 6. 
Jer. 30. 7, 8. 
Ezek. 38. 14, 19. 
& 39. 11, 22. 
Hos. 2. 16, 18, 21. 
Joels. 18, 
Amos 9. 11. 
Obad. 8. 
Micah 4. 6. St 

6, 10. & 7. 11, 12. 
Zeph. 3. 11, 16. 
Zech. 9. 16. 
s ch. 14. 8. & 
37. 24. 
Ezek. 31. 3. 
Zech. 11. 1, 2. 
t ch. 30. 25. 

Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, 
^ Neither shall they learn war any more. 

^ house of Jacob, come ye, 

And let us 'walk in the light of the Lord. 
^ Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, 

Because they be replenished [j '' from the east. 

And ' are soothsayers like the Philistines, 

■" And they || please themselves in the children of strangers. 
7 " Their land also is full of silver and gold. 

Neither is there any end of their treasures ; 

Their land is also full of horses, 

Neither is there any end of their chariots : 
^ " Their land also is full of idols ; 

They worship the work of their own hands, 

That which their own fingers have made : 
^ And the mean man boweth down. 

And the great man humbleth himself : 

Therefore forgive them not. 

10 p Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, 
For fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty. 

11 The 1 lofty looks of man shall be humbled. 

And the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down. 
And the Lord alone shall be exalted ' in that day. 

12 For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and 

And upon every one that is hfted up ; and he shall be brought low : 

13 And upon all ' the cedai'S of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up. 
And upon all the oaks of Bashan, 

i'^ And * upon all the high mountains, 

And upon all the hills that are lifted up, 
1^ And upon every high tower, 

And upon every fenced wall, 

Ps. Ixxii. 7: "In His days shall the righteous flourish, and 
abundance of peace, so long as the moon endureth." Cp. 
Jer. x.\iii. 6. Zech. is. 10. They declare God's desire and 
design; they affirm that He has done all that could he expected 
of Sim for their fulfilment ; hut He does not force any to 
receive His gracious offers : and that fulfilment is conditional 
on men's performance of their duty; and thus these pro- 
phecies are practical exhortations, as well as prophecies. Cp. 
below, on Luke xii. 49; and Vitringa's note here. In will 
and work, Christ is " the Saviour of the world " (John iv. 2) ; 
and yet, through Satan's power and man's sin, the "whole world 
lieth in wickedness" (1 John v. 19). Hence arises a gracious 
encouragement on one side, and a solemn warning on the other. 
On this subject, see more below, xi. 6 — 9. 

6. they he replenished from the easf] With oriental luxuries 
and idolatries. The word rendered replenished, suggests, as 
Vitringa observes, a reference to the pythons, and other 
diviners, who were filled with an afflatus, from an evil spirit 
(an oh : see Lev. xix. 31 ; xx. 6. Deut. xviii. 11. 1 Sam. xxviii. 
3 — 7. Cp. below, viii. 9 ; xix. 3 ; xxix. 4, where that word 
occurs). Instead of Ijeing filled with grace from God's good 
Spirit, they seek for inspiration from familiar spirits. 

— soothsayers like the Philistines'] Sorcerers practising 
hidden arts (see Lev. xix. 26. Deut. xviii. 10. 14. 1 Kings 
xxii. 6. Gesen. 644), like the Philistines of Ekron, where was 
the shrine and oracle of Baal-zebub (2 Kings i. 2 — 16). 

— they 'please themselves i7i] They strike hands with, they 
make a covenant with {Gesen. 793). 

7. silver — horses'] Contrary to the Divine command (Deut. 
xvii. 14 — 17), they rely on an arm of flesh rather than on 

9. the mean man hoioeth down, and the great man huinbleth 
himself] This seems to be the true interpretation, and is sup- 
ported by Sept., Vulg., and Syriac. Most modern interpreters 
(since Vitringa, p. 81) render it, the mean man shall he hoioed 
doion, and the great man shall he humhled ; but then there 
would be a superfluous repetition in v. 11, where the words 
here used are taken up; and the prophet declares, that they 
who bow themselves down to idols, will be bowed down ; and 
they who humble themselves before false gods, will be humbled 
by the true God. The verbs shachach and shaphel may well 
bear the sense given to them in our version. See Job ix. 13. 
Ps. XXXV. 4. Hab. iii. 6 ; below, xxix. 4 ; xxxii. 19. Ps. cxiii. 5. 
Jer. xiii. 18. 

10. Jointer into the roclc] As a routed army, fleeing before 
a conqueror, for refuge. See Josh. x. 17, where the five kings 
flee to the cave at Makkedah, after their defeat at Bethhoron ; 
and compare on Rev. vi. 15 ; and below, vv. 19 and 21. 

— hide thee in the dust] As travellers endeavouring to escape 
the sweeping simoom in the desert. 

13. cedars of Lehanon — oaks of Bashan] The proud pi-inces 
and potentates of Israel. See x. 33. Ezek. xvii. 3. 

The Day of the Lord. ISAIAH II. 16—22. III. 1— i. The Co afusioti of His enemies. 

^'^ " And ujjon all the ships of Tarshish, 

And upon all f pleasant pictures. 
^' ''And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, 

And the haughtiness of men shall be made low : 

And the Lord alone shall be exalted ^ in that day. 
^^ And II the idols he shall utterly aboHsh. 
^^ And they shall go into the ^ holes of the rocks, 

And into the caves of f the earth, 

" For fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, 

When he ariseth '' to shake terribly the earth. 
^^ ' In that day a man shall cast f his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, 

II Which they made each one for himself to worship. 

To the moles and to the bats ; 
21 ^ To go into the clefts of the rocks, 

And into the tops of the ragged rocks, 

* For fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, 

When he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. 
^- ^ Cease ye from man, whose ^ breath is in his nostrils : 

For wherein is he to be accounted of ? 
III. 1 For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, 

^ Doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah 

^ The stay and the staff. 

The whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water, 
2 "" The mighty man, and the man of war, 

The judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, 
^ The captain of fifty, and f the honourable man. 

And the counseller, and the cunning artificer, and the || eloquent orator. 
^ And I will give '^ children to be their princes. 

And babes shall rule over them. 

u 1 Kings 10. 22. 
t Heb. pictures 
of desire, 
X ver. 11. 

y ver. U. 

II Or, the idols 
shall utterly pass 
z ver. 1 0. 
Hos. 10. 8. 
Luke 23. 30. 
Rev. 6. 16. 8i9.6. 
t Heb. the dust. 
a 2 Thess. 1. 9. 
b ch. 30. 32. 
Hag. 2. 6, 21. 
Heb. 12. 26. 
c ch. 30. 22. & 
31. ;. 

t Heb. the idols 
of his silver, Src. 
II Or, which they 
made for him. 
d ver. 19. 

e ver. 10, 19. 

f Ps. 146. 3. 
Jer. 17. 5. 
g Job 27. 3. 

a Jer. 37. 21. & 

b Lev. 26. 26. 

c 2 Kings 24. 14. 

f Heb. a man 

eminent in 


II Or, skilful of 


d Eccles. 10. 16. 

16. ships of Tarshish'] All the noble vessels and instruments 
of commercial prosperity. Cp. Ps. xlviii. 6. 

— all pleasa7it pictures'] All beautiful spectacles of curiosity, 
desire, and delight. Cp. Gesen. 286, and 789. 

18. the idols he shall utterly abolish] Rather, the idols shall 
utterly perish {Vulg ., Syriac, and Targum); — they shall glide 
away like a stream in summer. The plural noun with the 
singular verb shows that all idols, however numerous and 
magnificent they may seem, are only like one bubble of 
nothingness, and will all burst and vanish at once. 

19. to shake terribly the earth] To shake the Earth as easily 
as a tree is shaken by the wind, and all its leaves and fruit are 
scattered. Cp. Job xiii. 25. Rev. vi. 13. Observe the paro- 
nomasia in the Hebrew laarots haarets, which may be re- 
produced in Latin, — iit terreat terrain {Delitzsch). 

22. Cease ye from man] " Put not your trust in princes, 
nor in the sons of men, in whom there is no help. His breath 
goeth forth, he returneth to his earth ; in that very day his 
thoughts perish" (Ps. cxlvi. 3, 4). 

There is an ancient interpretation of these words, — sanc- 
tioned by Origen, Vulgate (which renders bammeh, viz. in 
what ? by excelsus), Jerome, Lyranus, Corn. A Lapide, 
Menochius, Luther, Calovius, and others, — which is not to be 
neglected, according to which these words are understood to 
mean, " Hold off your hand from Man, in Whose nostrils is 
the breath of life;for hoio great is He to be esteemed!" 
Cp. Ps. ii. 2. And in this sense there is a warning here against 
incurring the wrath of the Divine Son, as in Ps. ii. 12. 

But the other interpretation seems more easy and natural, 
and is confirmed by what follows, as it is by Targum, Syriac, 
and Arabic here in the O.xford MS. The Sept. does not 
translate the words at all. 

Ch. III.] This chapter is a natural sequel to the former, — 

" Cease ye from man ;" for, adds the prophet, " The Lord, the 
Lord of hosts," will s^veep mighty and shrewd men away, 
and there is no help in them. 

1. The stay of bread] Isaiah adopts here also the language of 
the Pentateuch (see Lev. xxvi. 2B) : " When I have broken 
the staff of your bread," as a punishment for your sin. Cp. 
Ezek. iv. 16; v. 16; xiv. 13. This prophecy, like that of 
Moses, in Deut. xxviii. 56, 57, reaches onward through the 
siege of Jerusalem by the Chaldseans (see Lam. ii. 20), to its 
capture and destruction by the Romans. See note above, on 
Deut. xxviii. 56. 

2. the prudent] The diviner (Vulg., Syriac, and Arabic). 

3. the honourable man] Literally, whose person or coun- 
tenance is accepted, welcomed with honour by kings and 

— cunning artificer] Skilled in mechanical arts, especially 
in making engines of war and erecting fortifications, for which 
King Uzziah was famous. See 2 Chron. xxvi. 9 — 15; and 
cp. 2 Kings xxiv. 14, 15, where it is recorded that artificers 
were carried away captive by the Chaldseans. 

— eloquent orator] Rather, the man sMlled in enchant- 
ment, literally, in muttering, or tohispering (Heb. lachash) of 
incantations. See Eccl. x. 11. Jer. viii. 17, where the same 
word is used; and Ps. Iviii. 5, where the verb is used; and 
cp. Gesen. 437. The Vulgate has rightly "prudentem eloquii 

4. children to be their princes] "Woe to thee, O laud, 
when thy king is a child ! " See Eccl. x. 16. 

— babes] Spoilt children. The Hebrew word here used 
(taalulim) is from alal, to be silly and petulant (Gesen. 633. 
870. Cp. Ixvi. 4, where the word is rendered delusions). 
Jehoiachim, who was eight years old when he began to reign 
(2 Chron. xxxvi. 9), was a specimen of these princely infants. 

The latter days. 

ISAIAH III. 5—16. 

The sins of ivovien. 





t Heb. lift tip 
the hand, 
Gen. 14. 22. 
t Heb. binder up. 

e Micah 3. 12. 

f Gen. 13. 13. & 

18. 20, 21. & 

19. 5. 

g Eccles. 8. 12. 
hPs. 128. 2. 

i Ps. 11.6. 
Eccles. 8. 13. 
+ Heb. done to 

k ver. 4. 

I ch. 9. 16. 

II Or, they which 
call thee blessed. 
t Heb. swallow 

m Mlcah 6. 2. 

II Or, burnt. 
n ch. 5. 7. 
Matt. 21. 33. 

o ch. 58. 4. 
Micah 3. 2, 3. 

^ And the people shall he oppressed, 

Every one by another, and every one by his neighbour : 

The child shall behave himself proudly against t'he ancient, 

And the base against the honourable. 
^ When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of liis father, saying. 

Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, 

And let this ruin he under thy hand : 
7 In that day shall he f swear, saying, 

I will not be an f healer ; 

For in my house is neither bread nor clothing : 

Make me not a ruler of the people. 
^ For ^ Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen : 

Because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, 

To provoke the eyes of his glory. 
^ The shew of their countenance doth witness against them ; 

And they declare their sin as *' Sodom, they hide it not. 

Woe unto their soul ! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves. 
Say ye to the righteous, ^ that it shall be well with him : 

'* For they shall eat the fruit of their doings. 
^^ Woe unto the wicked ! ' it shall he ill with him : 

For the reward of his hands shall be f given him. 
^2 As for my people, ^ children are their oppressors, 

And women rule over them. 

my people, ' || they which lead thee cause thee to err, 

And f destroy the way of thy paths. 

^2 The Lord standcth up "" to plead, 

And standeth to judge the people. 
^^ The Lord will enter into judgment 

With the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof : 

For ye have j| eaten up " the vineyard ; 

The spoil of the poor is in your houses. 
'^ What mean ye that ye "beat my people to pieces. 

And grind the faces of the poor ? 

Saith the Lord God of hosts. 



Moreover the Lord saith, 
Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, 

5. And the people shall be oppressed^ Or, shall oppress one 

— The child shall behave himself proudly against the 
ancienf] As the king and princes of Judah behaved themselves 
against Jeremiah (Jer. xxvi. 11 ; xxxii. 2), and as Manasseh 
did against Isaiah himself. 

6. When a man shall take hold of his brother'] Such shall 
he the confusion and misery of the nation, that instead of the 
government of it being an object of honourable ambition, men 
will decline to take part in the administration of its public 
affairs, though earnestly solicited by others to do so. Cp. 
above, on Prov. xxviii. 28 : " When the wicked arise, men hide 

8. their tongue and their doings are against the LoED, to 
provoke (or rather, to rebel against and defg) the eyes of his 
glory] As Nimrod did, who is called a mighty hunter before 
the Lord, i. e. in His sight, and in defiance of Him (see on 
Gen. X. 9) ; and as the " men of Sodom " (cp. v. 9) are described 
as sinners before the Lord (Gen. xiii. 13). The Hebrew word 
marah, rendered in our Version to provoke, signifies to be 
contumacious, to resist, and to defy. Cp. Deut. xxi. 18. 

Ps. Ixxviii. 8; cvi. 7, whence Babylon derived its symbolical 
name Merathaim, i. e. repeated rebellion, Jer. 1. 21 (Qesen. 508). 

10. Say ye to the righteous] Or, Declare ye of the 

12. women rule over them] The queen mother, or the women 
of the seraglio, ruled during the childhood of the king j or, 
figuratively, the kings themselves are not men, but women. 

— destroy the ivay] Literally, stvallotv up the way. 

14. ye have eaten up the vineyard] The Lord's vineyard, 
the Hebrew nation (v. 7). Ye, who ought to have guarded 
and dressed the vineyard, have become like wild beasts, and 
devoured it. 

15. beat — to pieces] Or, crush. Two words are used here, — 
to crush, and to grind, — one signifying to pound, as in a mortar, 
the other to grind, as in a mill. 

16. the daughters of Zion] The childishness and foolishness 
of the later monarchs of Judah, which Isaiah foresaw, and the 
consequent importance given to the women of the court, who 
ruled over them and by them (see v. 12), gave occasion to 
the prophet to inveigh against the luxury, pride, and vanity of 
the daughters of Zion. Compare below, xxxii. 9 — 12. 

Seven Women shall 

ISAIAH III. 17—26. IV. 1. 

take hold of one Man. 

And walk with stretched forth necks and f wanton eyes, 

Walking and |J mincing as they go, 

And making a tinkling with their feet : 
^^ Therefore the Lord will smite with ^ a scab 

The crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, 

And the Lord will f "^ discover their secret parts. 
^^ In that day the Lord will take away 

The bravery of their tinkhng ornaments about their feet, 

And their \\ cauls, and their ' round tires like the moon, 
^^ The 11 chains, and the bracelets, and the || mufflers, 
-^ The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, 

And the f tablets, and the earrings, 
2^ The rings, and nose jewels, 
2- The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles. 

And the wimples, and the crisping pins, 
^^ The glasses, and the fine linen. 

And the hoods, and the vails. 
2* And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell, there shall be stink ; 

And instead of a girdle, a rent ; 

And instead of well set hair, ' baldness ; 

And instead of a stomacher, a girding of sackcloth ; 

Jjid burning instead of beauty. 
^^ Thy men shall fall by the sword, 

And thy f mighty in the war. 
2^ ' And her gates shall lament and mourn ; 

And she heing \\ f desolate " shall sit upon the ground. 

IV. ^ And * in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, 

+ Heb. deceiving 
with their eyes. 
II Or, trippivg 
p Deut. 28. 27. 

t Heb. make 


q ch. 47. 2, 3. 

Jer. 13. 22. 

Nahuui 3. 5. 

II Or, networks. 
r Judg. 8.21. 

II Or, sjveet balls. 
11 Or, spangled 

f Heb. houses of 
the soul. 

8 ch. 22. 12. 
Micah 1. 16. 

t Heb. might. 

t Jer. 14. 2. 
Lam. 1. 4. 
II Or, emptied, 
i Heb. cleansed. 
u Lam. 2. 10. 
ach. 2. 11, 17. 

— wanton eyes] Literally, winking with the et/es {Gesen. 
794). Cp. Prov. xvi. 30. 

— tinkling with their feef] With aukle-rings, still worn by 
Eastern ladies. On the dress of the Hebrew women, see Sartmann, 
"Die Hebraerin." Amst. 1809; Winer, R. W. B., i, p. 661; 
Sevan, in Blbl. Diet., i. 456. 

It is observable, that in the Hebrew original the pro- 
nominal afSx to feet {their feet) is in the masculine gender; as 
if to denote the masculine boldness of the women of Zion, in 
contrast with the effeminate imbecility of the men. 

17. the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head} 
The eye of the Prophet pierces through all the flimsy and 
dazzling disguise of female fascinations, in attire and personal 
charms, and sees the moral corruption lurking within; and he 
reveals the abject misery and foul shame which it will entail 
upon these fair sirens of Israel. 

— ivill discover'] When you are carried captive. Cp. xx. 4; 
xx.xii. 1 ; xlvii. 43 ; and below, v. 24. 

18. tinkling ornaments] Ankle-clasps. 

— cauls] Head-bands. 

— round tires — moon] Lunulas (Vulg.). Cp. Judg. viii. 21. 

19. chai7is] Rather, ear-drops. Cp. Judg. viii. 26. 

— mufflers] Fluttering veils (Gesen. 774). 

20. bonnets] Tiaras {Gesen. 665). 

— ornaments of the legs] Stepping-chains ; chains fastened 
to the ankle -bands, so that they who wore them could only 
take short and mincing steps (Gesen. 714:). Cp. S. Cyprian, De 
Habitu Virginum, near the end ; a tract well worthy of being 
read by women together with this chapter. " Maneat in vobis 
facies incorrupta, cervix pura, forma sincera — sint a compedibus 
pedes liberi ;" and Clem. Alexand., Psedag. ii. 12 ; and Tertul- 
lian, De Cultu Fsminarum, lib. ii., on the subject generally. 

— head-bands] Rather, girdles. Cp. xlix. 18. Jer. ii. 32. 

— tablets] Literally, houses of breath, holders of scent, 

— earrings] Rather, amulets, charms {Gesen. 437). 

21. rings] Seal-rings. 

— nose jewels] Nose-rings. See Gen. xxiv. 22. 
Vol. V. Paet 1.— 9 

22. changeable suits of apparel] Mutatoria {Vulg), gay gold 
dresses worn in society, but changed and taken off at home. 

— mantles] Worn over the inner tunic. 

— ivimples] Mantles. Cp. Ruth iii. 15. 

— crisping pins] Purses; 2 Kings v. 23 {Gesen. 305). 

23. glasses] Hand-mirrors ; Exod. xxxviii. 9. Job xxxvii. 18 
(Gesen. 171). 

— fine linen] Inner robes of the finest linen, sindonas 
(Gesen. 579). 

— hoods] Turbans. 

— vails] Gauze mantles; theristra (S. Jerome). Cp. Gen. 
xxiv. 65. Cant. v. 7. 

24. stink] Rottenness ; see v. 24 (Gesen. 502). 

— instead of a girdle, a rent] Rather, instead of a girdle, 
a rope (funiculus, Vulg., and so Sept. and Syr.), with which 
they will be tied together, and led as slaves and captives in a 
string; see on v. 17. 

— baldness] Being led slaves and captives, they would be 
deprived of their artificial hair, and their natural hair would be 
shorn off. 

— instead of a stomacher] Instead of their beautiful festal 
garment (Gesen. 697, and Belitzsch). 

— a girding of sackcloth] A smock of sackcloth, such as 
mourners and captives were clothed in. Cp. Lara. ii. 10. 

25. thy mighty] Literally, thy might. 

26. she — desolate shall sit upon the ground] As Palestine is 
represented sitting a captive under her palm-tree, on the coins 
of Vespasian, the conqueror and destroyer of Jerusalem by the 
arms of his son Titus, with the inscription " iVDM\ Capta." 

The eager flowing- together of the Nations into 
THE True Zion, the Church of Christ. 

Ch. IV.] From denunciations of Judgment, the Prophet pro- 
ceeds to speak of future Mercy reserved for the Sion of aU true 
believers at the Coming of Christ. 

1. in that day] In the day when God's judgments are 
poured forth on Jerusalem, there shall be a gathering together 

The eagerness of devout souls 

ISAIAH IV. 2, 3. 

to lay hold of Christ. 

b 2 Thess. 3. 12. 
■t Heb. lei thy 
name be called 
tipcin us. 
II Or, take thou 

c Luke 1. 25. 
d Jer. 23. .5. 
Zech. 3. S. U 
6. 12. 

+ Heb. beauty 
and glory. 
t Heb. for the 
escaping of 
ech. GO. 21. 
f Phil 4. 3. 
Rev. 3. 5. 
II Or, to life. 

We will '' eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel : 

Only f let us be called by thy name, 

jl To take away " our reproach. 
2 In that day shall "^ the branch of the Lokd be f beautiful and glorious, 

And the fruit of the earth shall he excellent and comely 

f For them that are escaped of Israel. 
^ And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, 

And he that remaineth in Jerusalem, 

^ Shall be called holy. 

Even every one that is ''written I| among the living in Jerusalem : 

to Him. The visitations of God's severest wratli on Jerusalem 
were always tempered witla love. So it was in the Chaldffian 
Captivity, when God healed them of the sin of idolatry, and 
brought" them nearer to Himself by suffering; and when He 
weaned them from material objects to a more spiritual religion, 
and raised up to them a Daniel and other Prophets, and gave 
them fresh hopes and predictions of Christ's Coming, and re- 
stored them to their own home. See above. Introduction to 
Kings, p. xiv. and Introduction to Ezra, pp. 298, 299. 

This was still more remarkably the ease after Christ's 
Coming. When Jerusalem and its Temple were destroyed by 
the Romans, then the glorious fabric of the Universal Church 
of Christ rose on its ruins. The Apostles of Christ, all of whom 
were Jews, went forth from Sion, the spiritual metropolis of 
Christendom, to plant Christian colonies in all Nations, and to 
evangelize the world. See on ii. 2, 3 ; below, on hv. 1. 

— seven ivomen shall take liold of one man'] Observe the 
connexion here. He had said before that " a man would take 
hold of his brother " and implore him to be a ruler, saying, 
" Thou hast clothing ;" but he would decline, saying, " I will 
not be a healer, for in my house is neither bread nor clothing. 
Make me not a ruler of the people" (iii. 7). And now the 
Prophet says, that " in that day seven women shall take hold 
of one man, saying. We will eat our own bread and wear our 
own apparel, only let us be called by thy name, to take away 
our reproach." 

Wliat is the meaning of this appeal ? 

These words have a twofold sense, literal and sph'itual ; 

(1) The destruction of men will be so general, " when men 
shall fall by the sword, and the mighty in the war " (iii. 25) ; 
that women shall be as seven to one (cp. Ps. Ixxviii. 63), and 
there will be seven candidates for one husband. And they 
would waive the legal claim to conjugal maintenance (Exod. 
xxi. 10), and would lay aside their maiden modesty, and would 
be content if they could only be called by his name, as his wife, 
so that their reproach among men might be taken away. Cp. 
Luke i. 25, where Elizabeth adopts the Prophet's words. 

(2) But this literal interpretation cannot satisfy the devout 
reader. It does not exhaust the prophecy. Indeed, the idea 
which the literal meaning gives, is itself of a repulsive kind, 
and, taken abstractedly, not worthy of inspiration; and its un- 
satisfying character serves the purpose of constraining us to 
look beyond it for a spiritual meaning. 

All the ancient Expositors, looking at the general tenom- 
of this prophecy, which undoubtedly reaches to the days of the 
Messiah (see vv. 2 — 6), have recognized here an Evangelical 
prophecy ; and many of them have seen here a joyful announce- 
ment of the eagerness with which Churches of Christ would 
spring up in all lands. Seven Women tvill talce hold of One 
Man, namely, of Christ, the Incarnate God. Seven is a_ symbol 
of universality, see Rev. i. 12, where the seven candlesticks re- 
present the Universal Church ; and note on Rev. xi. 19, p. 220 ; 
They will embrace the Gospel preached by Him, and will cling 
to Christ, as very members of His mystical Body, by faith and 
obedience. (See Origen.) Cp. below on Micah v. 5. 

These faithful virgin souls, which cleave to Christ, the One 
Bridegroom, with pure and holy love, ai-e contrasted with the 
vain and immodest "daughters of Zion" described in the fore- 
going chapter. And they do not ask for temporal benefits in 
return from Him, such as food and raiment ; rather, they gladly 
suffer the loss of all things for His sake, provided they can be 
called by His Name, and the reproach of their sin and misery 
can be taken away. Cp. below on Zech. viii. 23. 

This interpretation is confirmed by the two phrases, take 
hold of; and be called by thy name. To take hold of is best 
illustrated by the act and words of Ruth at the threshing-floor 

of Bethlehem, saying to Boaz, " Spread thy. skirt over thine 
handmaid" (see above, on Ruth iii. 9), and by the words of the 
prophet Zechariah (viii. 23), " Ten men of all languages shall 
take hold oi the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying. We will go 
with you, for we have heard that God is with you ;" and by our 
Lord's words to Mary Magdalene, "Take not hold of Me now;" 
but take hold of Me when I am ascended into heaven. See 
below, on John xx. 17. 

— let us be called by thy name] Or, literally, let thy name 
be called upon us, which is adopted by the Apostles in the New 
Testament to describe the reverential affection of devout souls 
for Christ (see Acts xv. 17. James ii. 7, and S. Cyril here). 

When men rely on themselves or other men, their supports 
fail in time of trial. They then take hold of their stays, which 
sink under them. No one then can be " a healer ■" none can 
raise up " the ruin ;" none can give " bread or clothing ;" none 
can be " a ruler " (see iii. 6, 7). But let the devout soul, in 
every land and in every age, take hold of the One Man, Christ 
Jesus ; and they will find Him to be " a Healer " and " a 
Ruler," Who will take away all shame and sorrow, and supply 
all their needs. Cp. Ps. xxiii. 1. 

2. In that day shall the branch of the Loed be beautiful and 
glorious] Rather, In that day the sprout of the Lord shall be 
for beauty and for glory. He repeats the phrase, in that day, 

of the former verse, to show that he is speaking of the same 
time. Here is another proof that the announcement of that 
verse is evangelical; for here he speaks of the Branch, or 
rather the Sprout (Hebr. tsemach), which can be no other than 
Christ J see Jer. xxiii. 5; xxxiii. 5; and Zech. iii. 8 (my ser- 
vant the Branch) ; vi. 12 (the Man whose name is the Branch), 
where the same word is used ; and where the word " Branch," 
described as God's servant and as a Man, further explains the 
meaning here, where it is said that seve7i ivomen shall take hold 
of one Man ; for, though there be many Churches throughout 
the world, there is but one Man — one Husband to them all — 
Christ. The wedlock is mystical, such as has been celebrated 
in the Canticles, or Song of Solomon, which is the best com- 
mentary on such passages as these ; and see 2 Cor. xi. 2, " I 
have espoused you (plural) to One Husband, that I may present 
you as a Chaste Virgin to Christ ;" and the Introd. to Can- 
ticles, p. 123. Christ is the Branch, or Sprout, of the Lord, 
because He was raised up by God from the stem and root of 
Jesse (see on xi. 1) in a marvellous manner ; and because from 
Him proceed all the beauty and glory of the Tree of the Church 
Universal, which bears fruit in all the world, and receives all 
nations under its shade. 

— the fruit of the earth] Or, of the land; the fruit grows forth 
from the Sprout — the Nazarene (see below, on Matt. ii. 23 j 
and Hengstenb., Christology, ii. 12—15). This fruit of the 
land shall be^or glory and splendour. 

— For them that are escaped of Israel] Literally, for the 
escaping (the abstract for the concrete), the true Israel of 
God, who escape from a worse captivity than that of Babylon ; 
namely, from the bondage of Sin and Satan, and lay hold of 
Christ their Redeemer by faith and obedience. See Isaiah's 
words in 2 Kings xix. 30, 31 ; and below, xxxvii. 31, 32, " The 
remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall yet again 
take root downivard and bear fruit tiptvard ;" being engrafted 
in Christ, the Branch, they shall bear much fruit. See also 
below, X. 20. Joel ii. 32 ; and Obad. 17 ; in all which passages 
the same word (peleytah) is used as here. 

3. every one that is tvritten among the living in Jerusalem] 
Literally, un-itten for life ; as the Apostle says, " whose names 
are in the book of life." Phil. iv. 3; cp. E.xod. xxxii. 32. 
Luke X. 20. Rev. iii. 5 ; xiii. 8 ; xx. 12. 

The Prophet is describing the holiness and blessedness of 

The glory of the true Zion. ISAIAH IV. 4—6. V. I. 

The Lord's Vineyard. 

^ When ^ the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, 

And shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof 

By the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. 
^ And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, 

And upon her assemblies, 

•' A cloud and smoke by day. 

And ' the shining of a flaming fire by night : 

For II upon all the glory shall he j n defence. 
^ And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, 

And " for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain. 

V. ^ Now will I sing to my wellbeloved 

A song of my beloved touching ^ his vineyard. 


g Mai. 3. 2, 3. 

h Exod. 13. 21. 

i Zech. 2. 5. 

II Or, abiive. 

t Heb. a coveting, 

ch. 8. 14. 

a P3. 80. S. 
Cant. 8. 12. 

ch. 27. 2. Jer. 2.21. Matt. 21.33. Mark 12. 1. Luke 20. 9. 

the spiritual Jenisalem, " the Mother of us all " (Gal. iv. 26), 
the Chi'istian Church ; see Rev. iii. 12 ; xxi. 10 ; the true Zion, 
Heb. xii. 12. Rev. xiv. 1. Cp. above, on Ps. Isxxvii. 5, 6, "And 
of Zion it shall be said, Tliis and that man " (i. e. this and that 
believer in Christ) " was born there. The Lord shall count 
when He writeth up the people, that this man was born there." 
Cp. on Cant. i. 5 ; and above, on ii. 3 ; and below, on liv. 1. 

4. When the Lord shall have loashed away the filth of the 
daughters of Zion — hi/ the spirit of hurningl The Prophet 
takes up the words of the former chapter, where he had spoken 
of the sins of the daughters of Zion {v. 16), and of the hurning 
by which they would be punished {v. 24) ; and he declares that 
God's wrath would be like a burning fire, which would purge 
away their dross, as of silver (i. 22. 25) ; and that their filth 
(y. 21) would be washed away. This is done by the " fountain 
opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jeru- 
salem for sin and for uncleanness," as Zechariah declares 
(xiii. 1), by the blood of Him Whom he describes as the 
Branch ; as the Apostle says, " The blood of Jesus Christ His 
Son cleanseth us from all sin " (1 John i. 7). 

— the spirit of hurning'] In the burning fire of God's judg- 
ment there is the Spirit of love, which, while it scorches, puri- 
fies. This was exemplified in the fire which consumed Jeru- 
salem in the Chaldsean and Roman invasions. See on v. 1. 

5. And the Loed luill create upon every dwelling place — a 
cloud — and fire] There was One pillar of cloud by day, and 
of fire by night for all Israel in the wilderness (Numb. ix. 15, 
16) ; and so Israel was sheltered from the scorching glare and 
heat of the sun by day, and was illumined in the gloom of night. 
But in the Christian Church, which is expanded into all lands 
from Zion its origin, this blessing has been multiplied. All now 
may find shelter, light, and guidance in Christ. The grace and 
glory of God is extended throughout the world to every church, 
and to every household in it ; and thus the Church Universal 
has become a Holy of Holies {S. Jerome, S. CyHl, S. Basil, 
Theodoret). See S. Cyril here, p. 77. 

— a defence] Rather, a canopy, especially a hridal canopy 
over a nuptial bed (see Ps. xix. 9. Cant. i. 16; iii. 7 — 11. Joel 
ii. 16. Gesen. 295). A remarkable word, signifying the spousal 
unioa of Christ with His Church, and with every faithful soul 
in it. This bridal canopy will be like a bright halo, a beautiful 
coronal upon all the glory ; surmounting the whole, and over- 
arching it, like the rainbow over the throne of God. Rev. iv. 3 ; 
x. 1. 

6. there shall he a tabernacle for a shadow] lu consequence 
of the Incarnation of the Son of God, Who has taken our 
nature, and Who tahernacles in us (John i. 14), the Presence of 
God, Who dwelt with Israel in a Tent in the wilderness (2 Sam. 
vii. 6), overshadows all Nations in the one Church Universal ; 
and all true Israelites will be gathered together under that 
shadow for ever in heaven, when the voice will be heard saying, 
" Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with men ; and He shall 
dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Him- 
self shall be with them and be their God." See below, Rev. 
xxi. 2 — 4; vii. 17; and above, on the typical meaning of the 
Feast of Tabernacles, in the notes on Levit. xxiii. 34 — 42. 
Deut. xvi. 13. 1 Kings viii. 65. Ezra iii. 4, Neb. viii. 16. 

The Rejection op unbelieving Iseael. 

Ch. v.] In the foregoing chapter the prophet Isaiah has 

foretold the extension of the kingdom of God from one central 
point, the literal Sion, the city of Christ's Teaching, Death, and 
Resurrection— the city where the upper-room was, in which He 
iustituted the Holy Eucharist, and breathed on His disciples 
after His Resurrection, and gave them a commission to go 
forth and evangelize the world — the city in which the Holy 
Ghost came upon them at Pentecost. He has foretold the 
difi"usion of the knowledge of God fi'ora Sion into every place, 
by the preaching of the Gospel, and the gathering together of 
all nations into the Church Universal, illumined and sanctified 
by His presence and Spirit. 

This announcement would naturally awaken in the heart 
of the Jews a feeling of surprise ; and they might be expected 
to inquire, whether the love of God to the Hebrew Nation had 
abated, and whether He had revoked His promises of blessing 
to them, and had transferred them to the Gentile world. 

The prophet meets this inquiry by declaring that it would 
not be by any reason of God's change towards them, but on 
account of their rebelhon against Him, that He would " take 
the vineyard from them, and give it to a nation bringing forth 
the fruits thereof." See Matt. xxi. 43. 

This had been already declared by Solomon in the Can- 
ticles ; a book which in many places anticipates and illustrates 
the imagery of Isaiah ; and the Apocalypse more fully developes 
it. See above, on Cant. i. 6 : " My mother's children were 
angry with me ; they made me keeper of the vineyards." 

Thus the present chapter of Isaiah forms a connecting 
link between what goes before and what follows. The rejection 
of Christ by the Jews led to the preaching of the Gospel to all 
Nations, and to the revelation to them of the Ever-blessed 
Trinity, into Whose Name they are all to be baptized ; which * 
is unfolded in the following chapter. See on ch. vi. 3 — 8; and 
cp. Matt, xxviii. 19. 

At the same time, the prophet is careful to guard that 
gracious announcement of the universal extension of God's 
favour to all Nations, against all envious murmurings and 
jealous cavils of the Jews. He reminds them that they are 
not excluded from the Church of God, because the Gentiles are 
admitted into it ; nay, rather they ought to rejoice with the 
Gentiles in their union with themselves; and the Jews ought 
to be thankful for the high privilege granted to them by God 
that their City was made the fountain and well-spring from 
which God's blessings in Christ fiow to all nations. The 
Law was to go forth out of Zion, and the word of the Lord 
fi'om Jerusalem (ii. 3) ; and the root was to be a root of Jesse, 
and He should reign over the Gentiles, and in Him should the 
Gentiles trust (xi. 1. 10). Cp. Rom. xi. 11. This was graciously 
provided for by our Blessed Lord Himself, Who commanded 
that the Gospel should be preached to all Nations, heginning 
at Jerusalem (Luke xxiv. 47. 49) ; and these truths are 
emphatically proclaimed by St. Paul (Rom. xi. 26 ; xv. 5 — 16), 
who was an example of them in his own person, being by 
birth a Hebrew of the Hebrews (Phil. iii. 5), and by training 
a Pharisee, brought up at Jerusalem (Acts xxiii. 6), and the 
chosen Apostle of Christ to the Gentile world (Rom. xi. 13). 

1. I zvill sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved 
touching his vineyard] Although, says the prophet, I foresee 
that the Lord will cast ofl" many in Israel, and lay waste the 
house of Judah, which is His Vineyard, on account of their 
sins, which will be brought to their height in the rejection of 
C 2 

God's care for His Vineyard. 

ISAIAH V. 2—9. 

Six Woes. 


+ Heb. the horn 
of the son of oil. 
II Or, made a wall 
about it. 

t Heb. hewed. 

b Deut. 32. 6. 
ch. 1. 2, 3. 

My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in f a very fruitful hill : 
^ And he || fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, 
And planted it with the choicest vine, 
And built a tower in the midst of it. 
And also f made a winepress therein : 
^ And he looked that it should bring forth grapes. 
And it brought forth wild grapes. 

+ Heb. for a 

t Heb. plant of 
his pleasures. 

t Heb. a scab. 

2 And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, 

" Judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. 
^ What could have been done more to my vineyard, 

That I have not done in it ? 

Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes. 

Brought it forth wild grapes ? 
^ And now go to ; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard : 

■* I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up ; 

And break down the wall thereof, and it shall be f trodden down : 
^ And I will lay it waste : 

It shall not be pruned, nor digged ; 

But there shall come up briers and thorns : 

I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. 
7 For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, 

And the men of Judah f his pleasant plant : 

And he looked for judgment, but behold f oppression ; 

For righteousness, but behold a cry. 

e Micah 2. 2. 

f Heb. ye. 

f ch. 22. 14. 
11 Or, This is in 
mine ears, saith 
the LORD, %-c. 

^ Woe unto them that join * house to house, 

That lay field to field, till there he no place. 

That f they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth ! 
^ *^ II In mine ears said the Lord of hosts. 

Christ, yet still I do not murmur against Him. Christ is my 
well-beloved ; and the prophecy which I am about to. utter is 
a song of Christ, mt/ well-beloved : it is a song inspired by 
Him. It is a Song to be compared with the " Son^ of Songs," 
i. e. the Canticles of Solomon, concerning His Vineyard. 

Here is asserted the Divine nature of Christ; for the 
Vineyard is expressly declared to be the Vineyard of the Loed 
of Hosts (v. 7) ; therefore Christ, the well-beloved, is one with 
Jehovah Himself. 

The Hebrew word occurring here twice, and rendered here 
well-beloved, is yedid, which occurs in the title of Ps. xlv., the 
great prophetic Epithalamium of Christ and His Church ; and 
in the Psalm of Solomon (cxxvii. 2), " So He giveth to His 
beloved " (even in) " sleep ;" where see note. 

The word rendered beloved, is dod, which is applied to 
Christ about twenty-five times in the Canticles, or Song of 
Solomon. See there, vii. 11, 12 : " Come, my beloved, let us 
get up early to the vineyards ;" and viii. 11, 12, where mention 
is made of His vineyard. 

— in a very fruitful MIV] Literally, on a horn, the son of 
oil — a hill like a cornucopise, overflowing with fatness; such 
was Palestine (Exod. iii. 8. 17 ; xiii. 5 ; xxxiii. 3), where the 
Vine of God's ancient Church was planted. See Ps. Ixxx. 

2. he fenced it — therein'] Our Blessed Lord Himself has been 
pleased to explain these words, as spoken of the Jewish Nation. 
See in Matt. xxi. 33, where His words coincide almost exactly 
with those of the Septuagint here, which are (ppayixhv ■ntpteOriKa 
Kol ((pvTtvaa T<fi a.fJiireKwi'i, Kal tfKoS6iMrj(ra irvpyov, koX irpo- 
\riviov apv^a- The words of our Lord are, i^vTivatv hfnztXwva, 

Ka\ (ppayfjLhv oiiTijJ irepiidriKe, Kal iapv^ev iu aury \T]yhy, Kal 
<pKod6iJ.ricre irvpyov. 

After His application of the prophet's words, it would be 
superfluous to say more. 

— choicest iiine] Literally, vine of sorelc, a vine with dark 
red grapes (Oesen. 796), now called serki, or zerha. 

— winepress] Or rather, a wine-vat or trough, in addition 
to the wine-press (see Prov. iii. 10) ; it is the lacus under the 

— wild grapes] Labruscas (Vulg.). 

5. Itvill take away the hedge thereof] The spoiling of the 
Vineyard was due to the sins of those who were appointed to 
guard and to dress it. Here is the answer to the question 
suggested above (see prelim, note to this chapter). 

7. he looked for Judgment, but behold oppression; for 
righteousness, but behold a cry] Observe the play upon the 
words in the original, "he looked for righteousness (mishpat), 
and behold oppression (mispach); for righteousness (tsedakah), 
and behold a cry (tseakah) of the oppressed for help. 

8. Woe] Here follow six woes, which are also taken up by 
Christ, Who pronounces eight woes on the husbandmen of the 
vineyard, who neglected to keep and dress it, and slew the Sou 
of the Lord of the Vineyard (see Matt. xxiiL 13 — 29); and 
there is a parallelism between our Lord's woes and those of 
the prophet. See what follows ; and compare below xxviii. 1. 

— W^oe unto them that joinhouse to house] " Woe unto you. 
Scribes and Pharisees ! for ye devour widows' houses (Matt. 
xxiii. 14). 

— that they may be placed alone] Rather, "that ye may 
be placed alone." The address is direct, as in our Lord's 
denunciations of woo. 

God's judgments on covetousness, ISAIAH V. 10 — 19. 

intemperance y and impiety. 

f Of a truth many houses shall be desolate, 
Even great and fair, without inhabitant. 
^^ Yea, ten acres of vineyard shall yield one ^bath. 
And the seed of an homer shall yield an ephah. 





t neh. If not, SiC 

g See Ezek. 45. 


^ Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow Ecdel: lo.' "'/"■ 
strong drink ; ''"■ ^^" 

That continue until night, till wine 11 inflame them ! 

'- And ' the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe. 
And wine, are in their feasts : 
But ^ they regard not the work of the Loed, 
Neither consider the operation of his hands. 

^^ ' Therefore my people are gone into captivity, '" because they have no 
knowledge : 

And f their honourable men are famished, 

And their multitude dried up with thirst. 
'^ Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, 

And opened her mouth without measure : 

And their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp. 

And he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. 
^^ And " the mean man shall be brought down. 

And the mighty man shall be humbled. 

And the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled : 
^^ But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment. 

And II t God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness. 
^^ Then shall the lambs feed after their manner. 

And the waste places of ° the fat ones shall strangers eat. 

^^ Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity. 

And sin as it were with a cart rope : 
^^ p That say. Let him make speed, and hasten his work, 

H Or, pursue 

i Amos 6. 5, G. 

k Job 34. 27. 
Pg. 28. 5. 

1 Hos. 4. 6. 
mch. 1. 3. 
Luke 19. 44. 

t Heb. their 
glory are men 
of famine. 

n ch. 2. 9, 11, 17, 

II Or, the holy 


t Heb. the God 

the holy. 

o ch. 10. 16. 

p ch. 66. 5. 
Jer. 17. 15. 
Amos 5. 18. 
2 Pet. 3. 3, 4. 

10. ten acres'] Literally, ten yoJces ; ten jugera, ten days' 
work with a yoke of oxen. 

— shall yield one bath] Ten acres shall produce only a 
bath, equal to the ephah of dry measure, which was the tenth 
part of a homer, and about eight gallons. Such is the scarcity 
here described, that an acre yields less than a gallon, the 
harvest is less than the seed sown : " Ye have sown much, and 
bring in little" (Hagg. i. 6; ii. 17). 

12. the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe] The guitar 
(Heb. cinnor), with strings upon a bridge, over a sounding- 
board; the Jiarp (Heb. nebel), played with both hands j the 
tambourine (Heb. toph), and pipe, or Jlute (Heb. chalil). 
See above. Gen. iv. 21. 1 Sam. x. 5. 

— JBiit they regard not the tvork of the Loed] They regard 
not the providential dispensations of God in judgment and in 
mercy. See Deut. xxxii. 4. Ps. Ixiv. 9 ; Ixxvii. 12 ; xc. 16 ; 
xcii. 4 ; cxi. 3 ; cxliii. 5. Hab. i. 5 ; -iii. 2, in all which places 
the same word is used. 

The operation is the work made by Him (cp. ii. 8. Ps. 
viii. 3; xxviii. 5), whence Isaiah adopts the words here used. 
Cp. Amos vi. 5, 6 : " They chant to the sound of the viol, and 
invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David; that 
drink wine in bowls : but they are not grieved for the affliction 
of Joseph." 

13. their honourable men ? famished] Rather, their glory 
is become, or is reduced to, men of himger, men famished ; 
they are no longer mighty men (see iii. 25, where the same 
word is used), no longer men of war, men of valour and of 
wealth, of pride, and of luxury, but men of famine. Cp. 
Job xix. 19, margin ; and Ps. xvii. 14, where the same word 
for men (methim) is used with a genitive. All their glory ha" 


faded away ; it has vanished into a poor and pitiful handful of 

15. And the mighty man shall be humbled] Even to hell, — 
hades ; see v. 14. Our Lord seems to refer to these words, 
when He says, " Thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto 
heaven, shalt be brought down to hell " (Matt. xi. 23), like 
Korah (Num. xvi. 30). 

17. Then shall the lambs feed after their manner] Rather, 
And lambs shall feed there as upon their pasture (Heh. dober) 
Cp. Mic. ii. 12. Gesen. 188. Jerusalem shall become a waste, 
a pasture for flocks and herds. Cp. Lev. xxvi. 43 ; below, vii. 
21, 22. The consequence of their surfeiting in eating and 
drinking shall be, that hell shall swallow them up, and their 
land shall become a wilderness for cattle to graze in, and 
strangers shall eat its produce. 

18. Woe unto them that draw iniquity] Woe to them that 
harness themselves as brute beasts to iniquity, with cords of 
falsehood, and drag on the weight of sin, as a waggon, with the 
ropes of vicious habits, and of wilful and deliberate wickedness. 
Cp. the metaphor in 2 Cor. vi. 14, "unequally yoked with 
unbelievers." The opposite to this is our Lord's saying, " Take 
My yoke upon you, and learn of Me. . . . For My yoke is 
easy, and My burden is light " (Matt. xi. 29, 30). 

19. That say. Let him malce speed] When these pro- 
phecies of Isaiah were uttered, all looked fair and prosperous 
in Judah and Jerusalem. The prophet perceived the moral 
corruption festering beneath the specious surface, and foresaw 
and foretold the coming doom; as Christ pre-announccd the 
judgment on Jerusalem, when some pointed His attention to 
the magnificent structure of the Temple, crowded with wor- 
shippers at the Passover (Matt. xxiv. 1—3). Isaiah was mocked 

Prophecy of the destruction 

ISAIAH V. 20 — 28. of Jerusalem hy the Chaldeans. 



i Heb. that say 
concerning evil, 
It \i good, Sjc. 

q Prov. 3. 7. 
Rom. 1. 22. & 
12. 16. 

f Heb. before 
their face. 
r ver. 11. 

s Prov. 17. U 
24. 24. 

That we may see it : 

And let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, 

That we may know it I 
Woe unto them f that call evil good, and good evil ; 

That put darkness for light, and light for darkness ; 

That put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter ! 

Woe unto them that are "^ wise in their own eyes, 

And prudent f in their own sight ! 
'^" '■ Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, 

And men of strength to mingle strong drink : 
23 Which 'justify the wicked for reward. 

And take away the righteousness of the righteous from him ! 



t Exod. 15. 7. 
t Heb the tongue 
of fire, 

■a Job 18. IG. 
Hos. 9. 16. 
Amos 2. 9. 

■K 2 Kings 22. 
i3, 17. 

y Jer. 4. 24. 
\ Or, as dung. 

z Lev. 26. 14, &c. 
ch. 9. 12, 17, 21. 
& 10. 4. 

a ch. II. 12. 

b eh. 7. 18. 
c Deut. 2S. 49. 
Ps. 72. 8. 
Mai. 1.11. 
d Joel 2. 7. 


Therefore ' as f the fire devoureth the stubble, 

And the flame consumeth the chaff, 

So " their root shall be as rottenness. 

And their blossom shall go up as dust : 

Because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, 

And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. 
25 X Therefore is the anger of the Lord Idndled against his people, 

And he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them : 

And ^ the hills did tremble, and their carcases ivere || torn in the midst of the 

^ For all this his anger is not turned away, 

But his hand is stretched out still. 
2^ * And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far. 

And will ^ hiss unto them from " the end of the earth : 

And, behold, ^ they shall come with speed swiftly : 
27 None shall be weary nor stumble among them ; 

None shall slumber nor sleep ; 

Neither " shall the girdle of their loins be loosed; 

Nor the latchet of their shoes be broken : 
2^ ^ Whose arrows are sharp, and all their bows bent, 

Their horses' hoofs shall be counted like flint. 

as a fanatic by the sceptical scofFei-s of bis age, wbo even 
turned God's long-sufiering into an occasion of sneering and 
blaspbemy against Him, and defied Him to come to execute His 
judgments upon them. Cp. Jer. xvii. 15. Amos v. 18. 2 Pet. 
iii. 3 — 9. The name of one of Isaiab's sons (Maber-sbalal- 
hasb-baz), was a protest against sucb impiety as this (viii. 3). 

Peophecy conceenino the destruction of 

Isaiab follows up bis propbecies concerning distant events by 
prophecies concerning near events. Tbus be challenges inquiry 
concerning his own prophetic mission; and the fulfilment of 
the prophecy concerning the near event draws attention to 
propbecies concerning distant events, and is a pledge and 
earnest of their fulfilment. See on vii. 16 ; xvi. 14 ; xx. 3. His 
prophecies concerning distant events, such as Christ's coming, 
and the extension of the Church from Sion, and the destruction 
of Jerusalem by the Romans, and Christ's Second Advent, are 
fiillowed here by a prophecy concerning a nearer event, — the 
Babylonish Captivity. See v. 26. 

24. as the Jire^ Literally, the tongue of fire shall consume 

them who sin with their tongues, in sui-feiting, and in idle 

words against God. Compare the punishment of Dives, in 

our Lord's parable : " Send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip 


of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am 
tormented in this flame " (Luke xvi. 24). 

— the flame constimeth the chaff'\ Rather, as the dry grass 
of the flame (of the furnace) is consumed. Compare Matt, 
vi. 30 : " The grass which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast 
into the oven " as fuel ; and see Matt. iii. 12, the metaphor of 
the Baptist, speaking of judgment to come, as Isaiab is here. 

25. their carcases were torn'] And their carcases are as 
siceepings (refuse, or dung) in the midst of the streets (Gesen. 
580 ; and Delitzsch here). 

— his hand is stretched out stilV] To smite. 

26. an ensign^ Or banner, to summon His armies to battle. 
The hosts of Clialdiea are regarded as the armies of God. He 
musters them against Jerusalem. Cp. Jer. v. 15—17. 

— from far] From Babylon, described as " a fi\r country " 
(below, xxxix. 3 ; cp. Jer. v. 15, 16 ; and Hab. i. 6 — 10). 

— he— will hiss unto them] The mighty hosts of those great 
nations are but as a swarm of bees in God's sight, and He 
hisses (avpl(ei) to them, as a keeper of bees does to draw them 
to their hive. Cp. vii. 18. Virg. Georg. iv. 54. 

27. their loins — their sJtoes] Rather, Ms loins, 7iis shoes. 
See on ix. 5. The prophetic view reaches even to each individual 
warrior; so clear is the vision of the coming army. 

The same correction of the plural int-o the singular is to 
be made in the three next verses. 



The year that Uzziah died ISAIAH V. 29, 30. VI. 1. I saiv the Lord in the temple. 

And their wheels Hke a whirlwind : 
^^ Their roaring shall he like a lion, 

They shall roar like young lions : 

Yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, 

And shall carry it away safe, and none shall deliver it. 
^^ And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea : 

And if one ^ look unto the land, behold darkness and || sorrow, 

II And the light is darkened in the heavens thereof. 

YI. * In the year that ^ king Uzziah died, I ^ saw also the Lord sitting upon a 

g ch. 8. 22. 
Jer. 4. 23. 
Lam. 3. 2. 
Ezek. 32. 7, 8. 
II Or, distress. 
II Or, when it is 
light, it shall be 
dark in the de- 
structions thereof . a 2 Kings 15. 7. b 1 Kings 22. 19. John 12. 41. Rev. 4. 2. 

29. Yea, tliey shall roar\ Eather, it shall utter a deep 
growl. The roaring has been ah-eady described, when the 
army is seen in the distance ; but it now utters a low, sullen 
growl when ready to seize its prey. Cp. Gesen. 807. 

30. they shall roar^ The word is the same (nahain) as that 
specified in the last note. It (the army) shall be like a sea in 
its strength, and shall utter a long-drawn, deep murmur, like 
that of the ocean. 

— And if one looJc unto the land'] Rather, and it (the army) 
loolcs to the land {Sept., Syriac, and Arabic), and it comes 
against it like the sea upon a shore. 

Thus ends the Peologfe, or First Paet of the Peophecies 
of Isaiah. The next Parts reveal clearer visions in detail of 
what has been presented in a general outline in this introductory 

Peeliminaet Note to Chaptee VI. 
Vision' of the Loed of Hosts — the Evee-Blessed 
Teinitt — IN THE Temple : Mission of Isaiah. 
Ch. VI.] It has been supposed by many modern Expositors, 
that in the present chapter Isaiah is describing his Jirst call 
to the prophetic ofBce, and that the foregoing chapters are 
subsequent in order of time to the present. 
But this opinion seems erroneous. 

(1) It disturbs the arrangement of the Book. 

(2) Isaiah says that he delivered prophecies in the days of 
Uzziah (i. 1) ; and if the foregoing prophecies are not to be 
assigned to the reign of that King, it is not easy to point to any 
in the Book which can be assigned to it. 

(3) The present vision presupposes previous prophecies. 
It opens with a copula^ which connects it with something 
before : " In the year that King Uzziah died I also saw." 

(4) We should have no indication of the person to whom 
the pronoun I in that sentence refers, unless we supposed him 
to be known to us as Isaiah from foregoing prophecies. 

(5) The five foregoing chapters are, as has been already 
observed (see on i. 1), designed to be a prophetical Prologue 
and general summary of the whole Book, and extend even to 
the Second Advent of Christ. 

(6) It has been alleged that Isaiah could not have pro- 
phesied before, if he had been of unclean lips, as he states 
in V. 5, and that he would not have prophesied without a 
commission, which he receives here (vv. 8, 9). 

But he does not allege his unworthiness as a reason for 
not prophesying, but as a ground for fear, because he, being of 
unclean lips, and dwelling among people of unclean lips, had 
seen the Lord of Hosts. He remembered the words of the 
Pentateuch giving utterance to a similar sentiment. See on Gen. 
xvi. 13. Cp. Exod. xxiv. 11 ; xxxiii. 20. Dent. v. 24. Judges 
vi. 22; xiii. 22. 

That Isaiah had no previous call, is not to be presumed 
from the fact that it is not expressly mentioned. He himself 
tells us that he had prophetic visions in the days of Uzziah 
(i. 1) ; and therefore we may be sure that he had a call to the 
prophetic office in the days of Uzziah. 

The call which he receives in the present chapter is 
altogether a new one. We may compare it to the ordination 
of St. Paul at Antioch to be the Apostle of the Gentile world, 
about ten years after he had been called by Christ from heaven, 
on his way to Damascus. See below, on Acts xiii. 2. 

The foregoing prophecies of Isaiah prepare us for this 
extension of his prophetic ministry. See above. Prelim. Note 
to chap. V. In the present chapter he has a vision of the 
Evee-Blessed Teinitt, and he is commissioned to declare 
the future punishment of the Jews for their obduracy (vv. 9 — 11), 
and the evangelization of all Nations by Jesus Christ. His 
Birth, Person, Office, Actions, Sufferings, Death, and Victories, 

and His Espousal of a Church Universal in all the Nations of 
the World, and His Second Coming, and the General Re- 
surrection, and Universal Judgment, henceforth begin to be 
revealed to us in a glorious series of prophetic visions. 

1. In the year that king Uzziah died] What is the con- 
nexion between the death of Uzziab (b.c. 758), and the vision 
of the Lord of Hosts, adored by the Seraphim in the Temple ? 
And why is this chronological date mentioned ? 

(1) This chronological date places us in the first year of 
the actual reign of Jotham, the son of Uzziah. This purpose 
would not have been answered so well by specifying the first 
year of Jotham, because Jotham was regent for some time 
during the life of Uzziah, who was smitten with leprosy for his 
sin in invading the priest's office in the Temple, and dwelt as 
a leper in a several house till the day of his death. See 
2 Chron. xxvi. 16—21. 

The mention of the death of Uzziah serves the double 
purpose of declaring that the foregoing prophecies were de- 
livered in his lifetime, and that the present vision was vouch- 
safed to Isaiah at the beginning of Jotham's reign. This 
harmonizes with what is stated in the title of the whole Book ; 
for there it is declared that he prophesied in the days of Jotham j 
and if this prophecy was not delivered in Jotham's reign, there 
is none that can be certainly connected with that time. The 
prophecy in the next chapter belongs to the time of Jotham's 
son and successor, Ahaz. 

(2) Uzziah had profaned the Temple, and was punished 
for his sin by leprosy, even to the day of his death (2 Chron. 
xxvi. 23). Hence it seems too probable that he did not repent 
of his sin. He was succeeded by Jotham, who "did that which 
was right in the sight of the Lord, and prepared his ways 
before the Lord his God " (2 Chron. xxviii. 2. 6). Jotham is the 
only king of Judah whose character is represented in Holy 
Scripture without any censure. 

Nothing could be more fitting, than that, when the 
leprous king of Judah had departed, the true King should be 
revealed ; that when the king was removed, who bad dese- 
crated the Temple, and a king succeeded in his place, who in 
evil days struggled against the waywardness of his people, 
which "did corruptly" (2 Chron. xxvii. 2), and who walked 
stedfiistly in the right way before the Lord, the Lord should 
manifest His glory on His kingly throne, visible in that Temple, 
which bad been desecrated by the earthly king, and should 
reveal Himself as adored by Seraphim there, and should 
encourage the pious sovereign who clave to Him, by assurance 
of His favour, and should denounce judgment on the people 
who did despite to the Divine Majesty, and did not profit by 
the religious example of their king. 

(3) This sequence of events had its glorious Antitj-pe in 
the Gospel. Leprosy is a type of sin. See above, the notes on 
Lev. xiii. and xiv. When the whole Jewish polity was smitten 
with leprosy and died, then Christ appeared, the true King of 
Israel, the Lord of Hosts. When the Jewish Nation perished 
as a Nation, by its rejection of Christ, then the Church of 
Christ received a prophetic commission to evangelize the world, 
and to baptize all Nations in the Name of the Trinity. 

Ancient Expositors suggest another still larger sense. 
As long as the leprous Uzziah of spiritual pride rules in the 
Jerusalem of our moral being, we cannot hope to have a 
vision of the glory and beauty of the Ever-Blessed Trinity : 
" Regnante in, nobis leproso rcge, non possumus Dominum in 
Sua. majestate regnantem vidcre, nee Sanctas Trinitatis nosse 
mysteria " {S. Jerome, from Origen's spiritual Homilies on 
Isaiah, Hom. 1, Hom. 4, Horn. 5). " Blessed are the pure in 
heart ; for they shall see God " (Matt. v. 8). " Without holi- 
ness no man shall see the Lord " (Heb. xii. 14). Uzziah was 
guilty of pride, presumption, and sacrilege. We must mortify 

Holy, Holy, Holy. 

ISAIAH VI. 2—9. 

Isaiah's mission. 


n Or, the skirts 
c Ezek. 1. 11. 
+ Heb. this 
cried to this, 
d Rev. 4. 8. 
t Heb. his glory 
is the fulness uf 
the whole eart/i. 
e Ps. 72. 19. 
t Heb. thresholds. 
f Exod 40. 34. 
1 Kings 8. 10. 

g Exod. 4. 10. & 


Judg. 6. 22. & 

13. 22. 

Jer. 1. 6. 

f Heb. cut off. 

f Heb. and in his 
hand a live coal, 
h Rev. 8. 3. 

t Heb. caused 
it to touch. 
i See Jer. 1. 9. 
Dan. 10. 16. 

k Gen. 1. 26. & 
3. 22. & 11. 7. 
t Heb. Behold 

throne, liigli and lifted up, and !| his train filled the temple. ^ Above it stood 
the seraphims : each one had six wings ; with twain he covered his face, and 
" with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. ^ And f one cried 
unto another, and said, 

'^ Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts : 

f ^ The whole earth is full of his glory. 

^ And the posts of the f door moved at the voice of him that cried, and "^the 
house was filled with smoke. 

^ ^ Then said I, Woe is me ! for I am f undone ; because I am sl man of 
unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips : for mine 
eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. 

^ Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, f having a live coal in his hand, 
ivhicli he had taken with the tongs from off '' the altar : ^ And he f ' laid it 
upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips ; and thine iniquity 
is taken away, and thy sin purged. 

^ Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying. Whom shall I send, and who 
will go for "" us ? Then said I, f Here am 1 ; send me. ^ And he said. Go, 
and tell this people. 

these sins within us, if we desire to have a vision of God 
((S. Gregory). When the leprous Uzziah dies in us, and when 
the holy Jotham reigns in us, then we shall see God. 

— the Lordi Heb. Adonai, the Ruler of all. He is revealed 
sitting on a throne, adored by Seraphim ; and thus His divine 
supremacy over Judah, and all nations, is manifested. 

This chapter is the prophetic Proper Lesson appointed to 
be read in the Synagogues with Exodus xviii. — xx. ; and thus 
the revelation of God in Sion to Isaiah is connected by the 
Hebrew Church with the manifestation of God on Sinai. 

— his train] The skirts of His glory. The word is used 
for the hem of a garment (Exod. xxviii. 33, 34). 

— temple'] Heb. heycal, Cp, 1 Sam. i. 9; iii. 3. 2 Sam. 
xxiL 7. 1 Kings vi. 3. Ps. v. 7 ; and below, xliv. 28 ; Ixvi. 6. 
It is translated palace (below, xiii. 22 ; xxxix. 7) ; and here the 
Temple is regarded as the Falace of the King of kings. See 
t>. 5 ; and Vitringa, p. 146. 

The Vision of the Lord of Hosts (the Tritine God, see v. 3) 
is in the Temple at Sion. Sion is the Mother of Christendom. 
The Preachers of the Gospel, who were sent to teach all 
Nations, and to baptize them in the Name of the Father, Son, 
and Holy Ghost, went forth from Sion (see ii. 3). Thus the con- 
nexion is marked between the Temple at Jenisalem and the 
Christian Church. Both are from God. The former is uni- 
versalized, spiritualized, and immortalized in the latter. 

2. Above if] Rather, above Him. The Seraphim formed, 
as it were, a living canopy over His head j as the rainbow 
over-arches the Throne in the Apocalypse (Rev. iv. 3 ; x. 1). 

— stood the seraphims] The word seraphim is from the 
Hebrew saraph, to burn ; and being applied to holy angels, it 
seems, as the Hebrew Expositors testify, to signify their 
qualities of light, VinA fervent zeal, and love ; like the tongues 
of fire at Pentecost (Acts ii. 3). One of the Seraphim is here 
represented as touching Isaiah's lips with fire {v. 7), to con- 
sume all that was unclean in them, like dross purged by fire, 
and to purify and refine them. This illustrates the meaning 
of the word as here used. Others (as Gesen. 796 ; and Fuerst. 
41, 45) derive it from saraph, to be exalted ; but the former 
seems the preferable etymology. Cp. Vitringa, pp. 147. 150; 
and Ps. civ. 4. Heb. i. 7. 

— each one had six icings] Two to cover the face, in awful 
reverence of the Divine Glory, which dazzled their eyes; and 
two to cover the feet, in humble consciousness of their own 
unworthiness in His sight ; and two wherewith to fly, with 
cheerful alacrity to execute His commands. 

3. Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts] That a plurality 
of Persons in the One Godhead is here declared, may be inferred 
from the words in v. 8 : "I heard the voice of the Lord, saying. 
Whom shall I send, and who will go for us V Also it is 
expressly affirmed by St. John, that Isaiah saw here the glory 
of God the Son. See below, on John xii. 40. Further, St. Paul 
testifies that Isaiah here heard the words of God the Holy 
Ghost. See Acts xxviii. 26. 

Hence we may conclude that Isaiah here had a vision of 

the Ever-Blessed Trinitt; and this is further confirmed 
by the repetition of the M'ord Holy three times, and by the 
iteration of this angelic Trisagion, in the worship of the Ever- 
Blessed Trinity, revealed in the Apocalypse to St. John. See 
on Rev. iv. 8 ; and the note above, on Gen. ii. 4 ; and on 
Exod. vi. 3; and on Num. vi. 24—27; and Ffeiffer, Dubia, 
359 ; and Vitringa, p. 152. 

This vision of the angelic adoration of the Ever-Blessed 
Trinity was an appropriate introduction to the extension of 
Isaiah's prophetic commission to foretell the preaching of the 
Gospel to all Nations. It was like a prelude to the com- 
mission given by Christ to the Apostles to go forth from Sion, 
and teach all Nations, and to baptize them into the Name of 
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (Matt, xxviii. 19). 

4. the posts of the door] Rather, the foundations of the 
threshold {Gesen. 592), the lowest foundations of the Temple 
were stirred with reverential awe. Cp. Ps. xviii. 6, 7, 8. " He 
shall hear me out of His holy Temple." " The earth trembled 
and quaked : the very foundations of the hills shook, and were 
removed." " There went a smoke out of His presence." 

— filled uiith smoTce] As Mount Sinai, at the delivery of the 
Law (Exod. xix. 18), and as the Tabernacle and Temple, at their 
dedication (Exod. xl. 34. 1 Kings viii. 10) ; and as the heavenly 
Temple, in the Apocalypse, where these words are repeated 
(Rev. XV. 8). 

5. fVoe is me !—for mine eyes] See above. Prelim. Note. 
Isaiah imitates the seraphim in reverential awe (see v. 2) ; both 
are examples to us in reverence, and in alacrity. See v. 8. 

6. alive coal— from ofi^ the altar] Either the altar of burnt- 
offering (Vitringa), or the golden altar of incense before the 
veil (Delifzsch). The purifying effects of fire, especially of holy 
fire, taken from the altar of God, and brought by the hand of 
the Seraphim, have been already noticed in v. 2; and this 
consecration of Isaiah's lips with holy fire, may be compared 
to the ordination of the Apostles, for the evangelization of the 
world, by the Holy Ghost descending upon them at Pente- 
cost in tongues of fire, and consecrating them thereby (Acts 
ii. 3 ; and Matt. iii. 11). " He shall baptize you with the Holy 
Ghost, and \y'\\\\fire'' 

In a Christian sense, this may be applied to the Holy 
Communion. We must receive a live coal from the altar, if 
our sin is to be purged, and if we are to have grace to say. Send 
me (y. 8), and to obey the call. 

7. this hath touched thy lips] The prophet Jeremiah was 
consecrated to his office by the Lord putting forth His hand 
and touching his mouth (Jer. i. 9). 

8. I — us] Words declaratory of a plurality of Persons in the 
Unity of the Godhead. See above, on «. 3 ; and cp. Ezek. xxi. 10. 
Hosea xii. 5 ; and Vitringa here. 

9. Go, and tell this people] " The people did corruptly " 
in the days of Jotham, the good king, when this vision was 
vouchsafed to Isaiah. See 2 Chron. xxvii. 2; and above. 
Prelim. Note; and this message was to be extended to their 
posterity. See what follows. 

Confederacy of Syria 

ISAIAH VI. 10—13. VII. 1. and Jsrad against Judan. 

' Hear ye || f indeccl, but understand not ; 
And see ye f indeed, but perceive not. 
^" Make *" the heart of this people fat, 

And make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes ; 

" Lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, 

And understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. 

^' Then said I, Lord, how long ? 

And he answered, 

"^ Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant. 

And the houses without man, 

And the land be f utterly desolate, 
'^ p And the Lord have removed men far away. 

And there he a great forsaking in the midst of the land. 
But yet in it shall he a tenth, || and it shall return, and shall be eaten : 

As a teil tree, and as an oak, whose || substance is in them, when they cast 
their leaves : 

So ^ the holy seed shall he the substance thereof. 

VII. ^ And it came to pass in the days of ^ Ahaz the son of Jotham, the 
son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the 






I ch. 43. 8 
Matt. 13. H. 
Mark 4. 12. 
Luke S. 10. 
John 12. 40. 
Acts 28. 2G. 
Rom. 11. 8. 

II Or, ivithout 
censing, ^c. 

+ Heb. himr ye 
in hearing, %c. 
t Heb. in seeing. 
mPs. 119. 70. 
ch. 63. 17. 
n Jer. 5. 21. 
o Micah 3. 12 

t Heb. desolnti 
with desolatiun, 

p 2 Kings 25. 21. 

II Or, when it i* 
returned, and 
hath been bruused. 
II Or, stock, or, 

q Ezra 9. 2. 
Mai. 2. 15. 
Rom. 11. 5. 



a 2 Kings 16 5. 

2 Chron. 28. 5, 6. 

9, 10. Hear ye — hut understand not ; and see ye indeed, hut 
perceive not. Make the heart of this people faf] Spiritual 
blindness is tlie punishment of the Jews for refusing to see ; 
obduracy is theu' chastisement for hardening their hearts. 
This sin and its penalty are like that of Pharaoh ; see above, 
the note on E.xod. iv. 21 ; vii. 14; i.x. 12. The judicial power 
of the Divine Word (like that of the Incarnate Word, 
punishing those who despise it : see Matt. xxi. 44. Luke 
ii. 34) is indicated by the imperative, " Make the heart of 
this people fat," &c. 

The climax of this sin and punishment was reached by the 
Jews in our Lord's age, and in that of the Apostles after His 
Ascension. Our Lord, and the Apostles, and Evangelists 
quote these words (Matt. xiii. 14, 15, — where the words of the 
(Sep ^. here are adopted, — Mark iv. 12. Luke viii. 10. John xii. 
39, 40. Acts xxviii. 25^27), and interpret them as attaining 
their consummation at that time ; and therefore what follows 
here, " Then said I, Lord, how long ? " is to be extended 
beyond the Babylonish Captivity, even to the times of the 
destruction of Jerusalem by the liomau armies. 

— and convert^ And turn, repent. 

— he healed^ Literally, and he heal, impersonally {Oesen. 
§ 137. 3). 

11. Until the cities he wastedl These afflictions themselves, 
— the Chaldajan and Roman Captivities, — were designed by God 
to exercise a salutary discipline on His people ; and many were 
healed thereby. See above, on i. 25 — 27. 

13. and shall be eaten'\ Rather, and for extermination, or 
consumption {Sept., Jerome, Arabic) for burning {Targum, 
Syriac) ; that is, as the event showed, although the Jewish 
Nation returned after the Chaldaian Captivity, yet it would be 
for consumption by fire (Heb. haer : cp. Num. xxiv. 22 ; and 
see Oesen. 133) ; for they would be again taken captive by 
the Romans. But still the stump of the tree would not be 
destroyed, but it would spring up in Christ, and bear fruit for 
ever in Him. See xi. 1 ; xl. 10 ; liii. 2, whei'e the prophecy is 
repeated and amplified. 

— teil'] Terebinth. See i. 30. 

— whose substance is in them, lohen they cast their leaves] 
Rather, whose trunk remains vihen they are cut down. 

— the holy seed shall be the substance thereof] The holy 
seed, Christ, the holy Seed of the Woman, the Seed of Abra- 
ham, the Seed of David, is the essence of vitality in the tree of 
the Hebrew Nation ; and though it was felled once and again, 
yet the stump remained, and it sprouted up in Him, and covers 
the earth, and receives all Nations under its shade. Cp. 
xxvii. 6. 

Thus we see a preparation made in this chapter for the 
still clearer prophecy which follows in th.e next chapter, 
Vol. V. Paet I.— 17 

concerning the Birth of Christ, Immantjel, God with us, 
from the Virgin of the House of David (vii. 13, 14). 

Peeiiminaet Note. 

Prophecy of the Birth of Immanuel from the 
Virgin of the House of David. 

Ch. VIL] The date of the following prophecy may probably 
be fixed at the critical time which followed the defeat of Ahaz, 
king of Judah, by the forces of Syria and Israel, who had 
begun to threaten Judah even in the days of the father of 
Ahaz (2 Kings xv. 37), and under whose hands he was brought 
into subjection by God for his sins; as described in 2 Chron. 
xxviii. 5. 

Alarmed by the menaces of Syria and Israel, Ahaz ap- 
pealed for succour to the king of Assyria, Tilgath-Pile.'ier 
(2 Chron. xxviii. 16 — 20), instead of resorting to God, by faith 
and repentance, for protection ; as was afterwards done with 
signal success by his son Hezekiah (see below, xxvii. 1), who 
stands in striking contrast, in the pages of Holy Scripture, to 
his father Ahaz. 

Syria and Israel, being confederate against Judah, appear 
to have been elated by the victory over Judah which has been 
just mentioned, and to have proceeded -with their combined 
forces toward the walls of Jerusalem, and to have besieged the 
capital itself (see v. 1, and 2 Kings xvi. 5), and had already 
fixed upon a person, " the son of Tabeal," whom they intended 
to place on the throne of David {v. 6). 

It was in that time of alarm — a time which is to be com- 
pared with that of the later Assyi-ian invasion in the diiys 
of Hezekiah, to whom Isaiah the prophet was sent, as he now 
is to Ahaz— that the following prophecy was delivered. 

In both cases, the ground for hope and assurance of con- 
tinuance and indestructibility to the house of David, is one and 
the same, namely, the pledge of God to David that the Messiah 
should be born from his seed. 

In the present chapter, the immutable faithfulness of God's 
promise to David is made more illustrious, because this prophecy 
of the Birth of Immanuel from the Virgin of David's house, is 
addressed to one of the worst princes of David's race. 

In the Arabic Version it is noticed that this chapter is the 
Proper Lesson for the Festival of Christ's Nativity ; and the 
Church of England has followed the uniform consent of all 
Christian antiquity by appointing it to be read in her churches 
on Christmas Day. It is also appointed by her as the Epistle 
for the Festival of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin 

1. Rezin— Pekah — went up toward Jerusalem -but could 


Isaiah is sent to Ahaz 


ivith a message of comfort. 


t Heb. reslelh o 

t) ch. 10. 21. 

li That is, The 
remnant shall 
return : See ch. 
6. 13. & 10. 21. 
c 2 Kings 18. 17. 
ch. 36. 2. 
II Or, causeti'ay. 
t Heb. let not 
thy heart be 

II Or, waken. 

d Prov. 21. 30. 
ch. S. 10. 

e 2 Sam. 8. 6. 

son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, 
but could not prevail against it. ^ And it was told the house of David, 
saying, Syria f is confederate with Ej^hraim. And his heart was moved, 
and the heart of his people, as the trees of the w^ood are moved with the 

^ Then said the Lord unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, ^ and 
II Shear-jashub thy son, at the end of the " conduit of the upper pool in the 
11 highway of the fuller's field ; ^ and say unto him. 

Take heed, and be quiet ; 

Fear not, f neither be fainthearted 

For the two tails of these smoking firebrands, 

For the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah. 
^ Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, 

Have taken evil counsel against thee, saying, 
^ Let us go up against Judah, and || vex it, 

And let us make a breach therein for us. 

And set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal : 
7 Thus saith the Lord God, 

^ It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass. 
^ ^ For the head of Syria is Damascus, 

And the head of Damascus is Rezin ; 

not prevail against if] It is stated in 2 Kings xvi. 5, that tbey 
" came up to Jerusalem to war and besieged Ahaz, but could 
not overcome ; where the verb is the same as that used bere, 
the niphal of lacham, which is of very common occurrence, and 
almost always rendered io fight (see xxxvii. 9 ; cp. Oesen. 436). 
The sense is, they were not permitted by God to come to a 
pitched battle with Ahaz before Jerusalem, Perhaps they 
were dispersed by some divine intervention, 

2. the home of David'] To which God had assured His 
unfailing protection (see above, 2 Sam. vii. Prelim. Note) ; and 
yet his heart is now moved, and the hearts of his people, " as 
the trees of the wood with the wind." 

— Sgria is confederate with JEphraim] Literally, Sgria 
rests iqjon JEphraim ; see v. 19 ; xi. 2 ; xiv. 7, where the same 
verb is used, and is translated by rests. The word is applied to 
describe an object which settles dotvn on another thing after 
motion ; as the Ark of Noah, after its wandering voyage (Gen. 
viii. 4), and cattle after labour (Exod. xxiii. 12), and the Ark of 
the Covenant after its movements (see Josh. iii. 13). The use of 
the word here is to be explained by the fact, that the king of 
Syria had gone southward in a military campaign to Elath on 
the Red Sea (2 Kings xvi. 6) ; and, having recovered Ehxth to 
Syria, from which it had been taken by Uzziah (2 Kings xiv. 
22 ; cp. 2 Kings xv. 16), had now returned after his excursion, 
awA. settled upon Israel, by joining his forces to those of the king 
of Israel which were marshalled against Ahaz. 

— his heart toas moved] The trepidation of Ahaz and his 
people is contrasted with the confident quiescence of Syria, 
which had settled down on Israel, who allowed itself to be made 
a basis by the heathen Syria, for organizing a solid and compact 
force against Jerusalem. 

3. Then said the LoED unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet 
Ahaz, thou and Shear-jashub thg son] Shear-jashub, — which 
signifies a remnant shall return. 

Isaiah's sons were signs (see viii. 8). Shear-jashub was a 
sign, that, however Judah might be punished for its sins (like a 
tree felled to the ground), yet a remnant should be preserved 
and return ; see the words at the close of the foregoing 
chapter, which explains tliis name : " In it shall be a tenth, and 
it shall return" (vi. 13); and cp. x. 21, "The remnant shall 
return " unto the mighty God. This had been already fulfilled 
in part, in the restoration of the captives of Judah in the days 
of Ahaz (see 2 Chron. xxviii. 5), and was further verified in the 
return after the Chaldsean Captivity, and still iiiore in the turn- 
ing of the remnant to God in the persons of the Apostles and 
first disciples of Christ, all of whom were Jews ; and in the con- 
version of 3000 Jews from all parts of the yvorld to Christ on 

the day of Pentecost ; and in the gathering in of Jews into the 
Church by the ministry of the Apostles and their successors iu 
all parts of the world; and it awaits its full consummation 
in the latter days, when the Jews shall return to God in Christ 
(Rom. ix. 27 ; xi. 25, 26). 

— at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the Mglv- 
ivag of the fuller' s field^ On the west side of the city. The two 
pools of Gihon have been described above, in the notes on 
1 Kings i. 33, and on 2 Kings xviii 17. The water of Gihon, oa 
the west, was formerly connected by some subterranean channels 
with that of Siloam on the east. See above, on Neh. iii. 15. 

Perhaps Ahaz was occupied at this time in considering how 
the water in the upper pool could be cut oft' from the besiegers, 
and secured to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. See below, on 
xxii. 9. 

It is a remarkable coincidence, and serves to bring out 
more clearly the contrast between the unbelief of Ahaz and the 
faithfulness of his son Hezekiab, that this same spot was after- 
wai'ds the scene of the proud menaces and defiance of the 
Assyrian captains and their host against Hezekiab (see 2 Kings 
xviii. 17, 18). Did not Hezekiab then call to mind the pro- 
phecy of Isaiah to Ahaz his father at that place, and was he not 
cheered thereby ? Hezekiab must have been at least twelve 
years of age at the time when Isaiah met his father Ahaz at 
that spot. Cp. 2 Kings xvi. 2 ; xviii. 2. 

4. tails of these smoking firebrands] Compare Zech. iii. 2. 
Amos iv. 11, where the same word is used, and Fuerst, 35. 
Those two brands burning themselves by their fury, and de- 
stroying themselves, are contrasted with the stump of Judah^ 
which, though cut down, is preserved for ever by God (vi. 13). 

— son of Remaliah] Observe this phrase often repeated 
here, vv. 1. 4. 5. 9. It is emphatic. What can the son of 
Remaliah, a murderer, an. usurper (2 Kings xv. 32), do against 
the son of David 1 And see what follows. 

6. vex it] Terrify it. 

— son of Tabeal] Son of Tabeal, an unknown upstart 
against the son of David, to whom the Lord of Hosts has pro- 
mised an eternal dominion ! (2 Sam. vii. 16). The word Tabeal 
is supposed by some to s\grn^j good god ; and to be equivalent 
to Tab-Rimmon, the god of Syria (see S. Jerome and Vitringa). 
If so, the contrast would be stronger between the proposed 
usurper and the lawful king, the representative of Jehovah. 

8, 9. Damascus — Samaria] Two heads setting them- 
selves up as rivals and enemies to Jerusalem, the chosen seat 
of the Lord of Hosts, and aspiring to occupy His kingdom ; 
they shall not exceed the bounds of their own laud ; whereas 
Zion, the city of David, shall send forth her spiritual colonies 

A Virgin shall hear a Son, 

ISAIAH VII. 9—14. 

and call his name Immanuel. 

And within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, f that it be 
not a people. 
^ And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, 
And the head of Samaria is Kemaliah's son. 
''II If ye will not believe, sm-ely ye shall not be established. 

'^ f Moreover the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying, 
'^ ^ Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God ; 

II Ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. 
^^ But Aliaz said, I mil not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord. 
'^ And he said, Hear ye now, house of David ; 

Is it a small thing for you to weary men, 

But will ye weary my God also ? 
^^ Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign ; 

'' Behold, a Virgin shall conceive, and bear ' a son, 

And II shall call his name '' Immanuel. 





t Ileb. from a 


f See 2 Chron. 

20. 20. 

II Or, Do ye not 

believe 1 it is 

because ye (ire 

riot slnble. 

+ Heb. A7id the 

LORD added to 


g Judg. tj. 36, &c. 

Matt. 12. 38. 

II Or, make thy 

petition deep. 

h Matt. 1. 2S. 
Luke 1. 31, 3}. 
i ch. 9. 6. 
II Or, tlwu, O 
virgin, shall call: 
See Gen. 4, 1, 25. & IG. 11. & 29. 32. & 30. G, 8. 1 Sam. 4. 21. k ch. 8. 8. 

into all the world, and make it God's kingdom iu the universal 
Church of Christ. See on ii. 3; liv. 1. 

Isaiah declares that in sixty-five years Israel would cease 
to be a kingdom; and he adds another prophecy concerning 
what was more near — viz. that Damascus and Samaria would 
not succeed in their invasion of Judab (C/irt/s.). 

— within threescore and five years shall Uphraim he 
IroJcen, that it he not a peojjie'] Though Judah be taken 
captive, it shall return and be still a people ; but Israel, as far 
as it is opposed to Judah, shall not return ; and " shall he no 
more a people." 

Jerusalem was laid waste and became a desolation ; but it 
was never peopled with heathen colonists; it remained, by 
God's providence, in a ruined state, in order to be inhabited 
again by the returning exiles from Babylon, and to become the 
spiritual mother of all Christendom. See ii. 3. 

But the tribes of Israel were carried captive by the Assy- 
rians; and their capital, Samaria, was colonized and planted 
with idolatrous foreigners by the son of Sennacherib, Esar- 
haddon, the king of Assyria (2 Kings xvii. 24. Ezra iv. 2). 
This colonization took place between B.C. 680 and B.C. G67, the 
time in which Esarhaddon reigned. From the second year of 
Ahaz to the middle of the reign of Esarhaddon, is a period of 
threescore and five years. As has been already observed, Isaiah 
generally couples his prophecies concerning distant events with 
prophecies concerning nearer events, for reasons above stated 
(see on v. 19). So it is here. He links his prophecy concern- 
ing the Messiah to a prophecy concerning the end of the rival 
kingdom of Israel. 

It was little to be expected, humanly speaking, that Judah 
should survive the mightier kingdom of Israel; but divine 
prophecy had declared that it should be so ; and so it came to 
pass. Aud Prophecy predicted the dissolution of Israel, without 
hope of national redintegration, and foretold the time of its 
decomposition; this also has been fulfilled. It has also fore- 
told the perpetuity of Ziou. This has been verified iu the 
Church of Christ, which sprang forth from it. Here are clear 
proofs of divine Inspiration. 

10. Moreover the Lord spake again'] Literally, the Lord 
added to speak. Probably Isaiah had waited to give Ahaz an 
opportunity of expressing his foitli iu God's promise; but as 
the king made no reply, he j)^'oceeded to add what follows. 
The Lord spaTce again,— 2l remarkable sentence, declaring the 
identity of the word of Jehovah Himself and that which 
the Prophet had spoken. How could Isaiah have said this, 
unless he had been fully persuaded that what he had spoken 
was not his own word, but that of Jehovah Himself; in sum, 
that Jehovah had spoken by him ? 

11. Ask thee a sign'] A sign, Heb. oth, a present visible 
pledge of the certainty of something invisible or future. Cp. 
Exod. iv. 8, 9 ; xii. 13 ; and below, viii. 18, where Isaiah speaks 
of his own children as signs ; and cp. xxxvii. 30 ; xxxviii. 22, 
and Luke ii. 12. 

— Ask it either in the depth'] Ask if, descending down or 
mounting high ; fetch the sign from above, or from Ijelow. Cp. 
Hark viii. 11, where the Jews ask for a sign from heaven j and 

Matt. xii. 39, where our Lord gives them a sign from beneath — 
the sign of Jonas. 

The confident persuasion that Isaiah felt of his own divine 
commission and inspiration is evident from this challenge to 

12. Ahaz said, I will not ask] Ahaz had already made up 
his mind to resort to Assyria for help ; indeed, it is most pro- 
bable that he had already despatched messengers to Tiglath- 
Pileser (2 Kings xvi. 7. 2 Chron. xxviii. 16) ; and he could not 
be dissuaded from his purpose by any promise of help from the 
Lord, in Wliom he had no faith ; and he hypocritically pretends 
that he is deterred from asking a sign by a religious fear ot 
tempting the Lord. S. Jerome, S. Cyril, S. Basil. 

13. house of David] Ye house of David, to Vv'hom the Lord 
has pledged eternal continuance and dominion in his seed 
(2 Sam. vii. 16). W^ill ye also uot believe ? 

The words " house of David," used above, v. 2, are em- 
phatic ; aud are taken up in the Gospel History of the Incar- 
nation to mark the fulfilment of the prophecy. See Luke i. 
27. 69 ; ii. 4 ; cp. Rom. i. 3. 

— to iveary men] Such as Isaiah, and other faithful ser- 
vants of God. Isaiah means to say, that Ahaz, in despising the 
prophets, was also despising the God Whose prophets they 
were. Cp. 1 Sam. viii. 7. Luke x. 6. S. Jerome. 

— will ye iveary my Ood also '?] By despising His gracious 
offers, and rejecting all His efforts to save you. Isaiah had 
before spoken gently to Ahaz, aud had endeavoured to bring 
him to a sense of his duty by using the words " the Lord thy 
God ;" but now he changes his tone, and says, " my God," — no 
longer thine. 

The Sign. 

14. the Lord] Heb. Adonai, the supreme Ruler of all. 

— shall give you a sign] A marvellous thing ; aud it will be 
both from the height and depth at once ; from the height of 
the Godhead, stooping to the lowest depths of humility iu the 
Incarnation of the Son of God. S. Cyril. 

— Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and hear a son, and 
shall call his name Immanuel'] Literally, Behold the Virgin 
(is) conceiving and hearing a Son ; and calls his name Imma- 
nuel. On the rendering " calls " see Gesen., § 75. The Pro- 
phet utters these words with the vision of the Vii-gin present 
to his eyes, and calls Ahaz to hehold what he himself distinctly 

The word rendered Virgin (Heb. Almah) occurs seven 
times in the Old Testament : Gen. xxiv. 43. Exod. ii. 8. Ps, 
Ixviii. 25. Prov. xxx. 19. Cant. i. 3 ; vi. 8, and in no case does 
it signify a married woman. Cp. Bfeiffer, 358; Hengst., 
Christol. 45. 

The passage Prov. xxx. 19 is remarkable, and has already 
been compared with the present; see the note there. The 
Septuagint, therefore, is perfectly correct in rendering it by 
TrapO^vos (Virgin), and the Holy Spirit, by St. Matthew, con- 
firms this rendering. 

That the present prophecy reached its full and final ac- 
complishment in the conception and burth of JEStrs Cheisx fron] 
D 2 

The sign 

ISAIAH VII. 15, 16. 

to Ahciz. 



1 See ch. 8. 4. 

m 2 Kings 15. 30. 
& IG. 9. 

^■^ Butter and honey sliall lie eat, 

That he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. 
^^ ' I'or before the child shall know 

To refuse the evil, and choose the good. 

The land that thou abhorrest sliall be forsaken of '" both her kings. 

the Blessed Virgin Mary, is certain from the testimony of the 
Holy Spirit speaking by the Evangelist St. Matthew, who quotes 
these words as they stand in the Septuagint Version, and affirms 
that they were fuffilled in Him (see below, on Matt. i. 22, 23) ; 
and also from the angel Gabriel, who referred to them in his 
message to the Blessed Virgin. See Luke i. 31 — 35. 

The objection that our Blessed Lord was not actually 
called Immanuel, is of no weight. . What is meant by His 
Name being called Immanuel is, that this would be His real 
nature and office ; so, in Jer. xxili. 6 (cp. xxxiii. 16), it is said 
tliat this is the Name by which He should be called, "the Lord 
our PaGHTEOUSNESS," bccausc He would be to us what that 
Nntne imports. Cp. the similar passage below, ix. 6, and 
Pfeiffer, Dubia, 358, and TertulUan, c. Jud. 9. 

That the house of David was indestructible, and that, if 
Ahaz had I'aith iu God, he need not fear any injury to himself 
and people frons any confederacy of his enemies, such as Israel 
and Syria, was clear to Isaiah, from the fact that the Virgin 
(the divinely -appointed Virgin, whom we know to have been 
of that house of David, who was then revealed as present to 
the Prophet) was to give birth to a Son, and that the Son Who 
would be born of her would l^e no other than God, God with 
us, Immanuel. Since Ood is with us, who can be against us ? 
Cp. J?^j>. Andreices' Sermon on this text, i. 134 — 152; and 
Up. Pearson on the Creed, Art. III., p. 172, where is an 
answer to the Jewish perversion of this text ; and note below, 
on Matt. i. 23 ; and see Hengst., Christol., pp. 59 — 63, where 
the erroneous interpretations are refuted which apply this pro- 
phecy to some other person than Christ. 

Whether this prophecy did not receive a subordinate fulfil- 
ment in the reign of Ahaz himself, will be considered below, in 
the note after v. 16. 

15. Butter and honey sliall he eaf] Although He is Imma- 
nuel, God witli us, yet He shall be nourished, like other childi'cn, 
with butter, or curds (see Gen. xviii. 8. Deut. xxxii. 14. 
Judg. v. 25. 2 Sam. xvii. 29. Job xx. 17. Prov. xxx. 33; 
below, V. 22), and honey. He shall have a true human nature, 
being born of the seed of David according to the flesh (S. Ire- 
ticBtis, S. Jerome, S. Cyril, S. Chrys., S. Basil; Pfeiffer, 
Dubia, p. 359). Some suppose that the eating of butter and 
honey by the child, was a sign that the land would be wasted at 
the time of His birth (see v. 22) ; but this is very doubtful. 

— That he may know'] That He may grow up to man's 
estate, and exercise the faculties of the human will ; as the 
Evangelist says, " Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and 
in favour with God and man." Luke ii. 52. 

16. For before the child shall knoio to refuse the eviV] 
Before he shall arrive at years of discretix)n. It has been sup- 
posed by some (e. g. Vitringa) that the Prophet, beholding the 
future child Inunanuel present to his prophetic eye, makes the 
time of His growth from infancy to childhood to be a measui-e 
of time here ; but this is doubtful ; see below, after v. 16. 

— The land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her 
kings'] Or, as some interpret it, the land ivill be desolate, of 
•whose two kings thou art afraid; or, on account of whose 
kings thou art distressed, — as one who is weary and loathes his 
life (cp. Gen. xxvii. 46. Num. xxi. 5 ; xxii. 3. Gesen. 729). 
But it does not seem necessary to abandon the Authorized Ver- 
sion, which follows the order of the words in the original. The 
Hebrew word for land is a general one (addmah), signifying 
ground, or earth ; and the sense is, the very soil which thou 
loathest, as sending forth enemies to invade and occupy thy 
land, and to besiege thee, shall be forsaken of both its kings, 
who now occupy the territory of Judah and of Jehovah. The ful- 
filment of this prophecy was seen in the assassination of Pekah 
by Hoshea (2 Kings xv. 30), and in the destruction of Kezin 
and in the captivity of his people by the king of Assyria. 2 Kings 
xvi. 9. 

Beteospect of the Prophecy. 

No one can read the foregoing prophecy without putting 
this question, — 

Did it not receive a subordinate fulfilment in the time of 
Ahaz liimself? How otherwise could it be a sign to him? 
(« 14). 


The passages usually quoted in reply to this question 
(Exod. iii. 12. 1 Sam. ii. 34. Isa. xxxvii. 30) are no sufficient 
answer to it. And it could not otherwise be said, that the 
destruction of the kings of Israel and Syi-ia took place before 
the child, whose birth is foretold here, had arrived at years of 
discretion («. 16). 

An answer to this question may be prefaced by the words 
o^ Lord Bacon: "Divine prophecies partake of the nature of 
their Author, with Wliom a thousand years are but as one day ; 
and, therefore, are not fulfilled punctually at once, but have 
springing and germinant accomplishment throughout many 
ages, though the height or fulness of them may refer to some 
one age " (Adv. of Leai-niug, p. 161) ; and they are to be inter- 
preted accordingly. 

There is scarcely one of the prophecies which St. Matthew 
applies to Christ in the earlier chapters of his Gospel, which 
had not a subordinate and preparatory tendency towards 
fulfilment in the ages long before Christ. The weeping of 
Rachel for her childi-en ; the call of the Son of God from 
Egypt ; and other prophecies, which the Evangelist applies to 
Christ, had already had such tendencies in Hebrew history. 
And when the Evangelist declares that they were fulfilled in 
Christ, he means that they reached their full and final con- 
summation iu Him; and that no other fulfil ment of them was 
to be looked for. They had put forth buds and blossoms in 
earlier daj-s, but they all had their full ripeness and fruit in 
Him ; or, to use another figure, they had been flowing onward 
in successive undulations in former ages, but they all reached 
their high-tide in Him. See the notes below on Matt. i. 22 ; 
ii. 15. 17. 23. 

The question, therefore, may be reverently asked. 

Whether some glimpses and gleams of the future glorious 
fulfilment of Isaiah's prophecy in Christ were not given in 
the days of King Ahaz to be a present sign to that monarch, 
and a pledge and earnest of that future accomplishment which 
exhausted all its significance ? 

It seems that Isaiah himself has answered this question. 

At the beginning of the next chapter he declares a con- 
secutive message of Jehovah, which reflects much light on this 
prophecy : " Moreover, the Lord said unto me. Take thee a 
great roll, and write in it with a man's pen concerning Maher- 
shalal-hash-baz (i. e. spoil speeds ; prey hastens). And I took 
unto me fiiithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and 
Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah. And I went unto the pro- 
phetess ; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the 
Lord to me. Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz. For before 
the child shall have knowledge to cry. My father, and my 
mother, the riches of I>amascus and the spoil of Samaria 
shall be taken away before the king of Assyria " (viii. 1 — 4). 

The immediate juxtaposition of these words, repeating 
those of the present chapter, " The Virgin shall conceive and 
bear a Son, and shall call Sis name Immanuel ; — Before the 
child shall knoto to refuse the evil and choose the good, the 
land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings " 
(namely, the two kings of Damascus and Samaria mentioned 
in viii. 4), shows that the prophecy in this chapter is to be 
illustrated by the following chapter : 

Besides, the twofold element in Maher-shalal-hash-baz, 
with a similar sense {spoil speeds — prey hastens), was designed 
to indicate the taking by Assyria of the spoil from the two 
kings, who had come to despoil Jerusalem. 

I do not say that the prophecy was fulfilled in the birth of 
Maher-shalal-hash-baz from Isaiah by the prophetess, who was 
probably a virgin when the present prophecy was uttered, for 
she would otherwise have been called his wife ; and the exist- 
ence of another son of Isaiah, Shearjashub, is no evidence to 
the contrary, for Shearjashub was now old enough to be his 
father's companion, and his mother may have been dead. It is 
not to be supposed that the birth of Maher-shalal-hash-baz was 
an accomplishment of the prophecy, " Behold, the virgin shall 
conceive." By no means. The prophecy of the birth of One 
who was to be called God with its, could not, it is obvious, 
have been supposed to be fulfilled in all its depth and height by 
any mere child of man. But the birth of the child of the 
prophet and the prophetess, and the routing of the two foes of 

Judgments of God 

ISAIAH VII. 17—24. 

iqjon Judali, 

^^ " The LoED shall bring upon thee, 

And upon thy people, and upon thy father's house, 

Days that have not come. 

From the day that ° Ephraim departed from Judah ; 

Even the king of Assyria. 
^^ And it shall come to pass in that day, 

That the Loed ^ shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the 
rivers of Egypt, 

And for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. 
^^ And they ^hall come, and shall rest all of them 

In the desolate valleys, and in "^ the holes of the rocks, 

And upon all thorns, and upon all || bushes. 
"^^ In the same day shall the Lord shave with a ^ rasor that is hired, 

Namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, 

The head, and the hair of the feet : 

And it shall also consume the beard. 
-^ And it shall come to pass in that day. 

That a man shall nourish a young cow, and two sheep ; 

22 And it shall come to pass. 

For the abundance of milk that they shall give he shall eat butter : 
For butter and honey shall every one eat 
That is left f in the land. 

23 And it shall come to pass in that day, 
That every place shall be, 

Where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, 
* It shall even be for briers and thorns. 
2^ With arrows and with bows shall 7ncn come thither ; 





11 2 Chron. 28. 19. 

o 1 Kings 12. 10. 

p ch. 5. 2G. 

q ch. 2. 19. 
Jer. IG. 16. 
II Or, commend- 
able trees. 
r 2 Kings 16. 7, 8. 
2 Chron. 28. 20, 
See Ezek. 5. 1. 

\ Hch. in the 
midst of the land. 

s ch. 5. 6. 

Ahaz soou after that birtli, was a pledge aud a7i earnest of the 
future fulfilment and accomplishment in the Bu'th of iMMANUEii. 
If Ahaz had been willing to believe, the birth of the pro- 
phet's child would have been a sign to him that the glorious 
prophecy concerning Immanuel would be fulfilled in all its 
divine plenitude, in course of time ; and the execution of ven- 
geance on Ephraim and Syria, the enemies of Jerusalem, by the 
king of Assyria, before the child of the prophetess (who became 
a mother very soon after this prophecy was delivered) had 
arrived at years of discretion (viii. 4), would be an immediate 
sign to him of the much greater mercies in store for Judah by 
its deliverance " from its enemies and from the hands of all 
that hated it" (Luke i. 71 — 74), by the almighty power of 
Immanuei, the Virgin-born, of Whose victories there was a 
pledge in the name of the child of the prophetess, and of Whom 
both the sons of the prophet Isaiah were signs and types. See 
viii. 18 ; and compare the excellent remarks of Dean Jackson 
on the Creed, book vii. chap, xxxiv. ; and see below, notes on 
viii. 1 — 4. 

Isaiah now turns to Ahaz, who had no faith in the an- 
nouncement either of the immediate sign, or of that great 
future glorious event which was pre-signified by itj and the 
prophet denounces God's judgments on him and his for their 

17. The Lord sJtall bring upon thee — the king of Assyria^ 
In whom thou trustest rather than in the Lord ; see on v. 12. 
For the fulfilment see 2 Kings xvi. 7. 2 Chron. xxviii. 19, 20; 
in the ravages of Sennacherib, king of Assyria, who took " all 
the fenced cities of Judah " (2 Kings xviii. 13) ; and see the 
prophetic description of the alarm and devastation produced by 
that invasion of Judah, " He is come to Aiath, he is passed 
to Migron," &c. (x. 28—32). 

The prophecy extends doubtless to the ravages and desola- 
tion of Jerusalem by kings of Babylon (such as Nebuchad- 
nezzar), who are reckoned among the kings of Assyria, and are 
designated as such, as being their successors and representa- 
tives. See above, on Ezra vi. 22, and Neh. ix. 32. 

Here is an evidence of the inspiration of Isaiah foreseeing 
the absorption of Assyria into the Chakla3an monarchy. 

18. the Lord shall hiss for the fly — Egypt~\ See above, v, 
26, and 2 Kings xxiii. 29. 3i, 35, for the history of the 
Egyptian conquests in Judah. The armies of Egypt are com- 
pared to swarms of flies, which abounded in the marshy lauds 
of the Nile ; the Assyrians are likened to bees, on account of 
the order, discipline, and energy of their forces under one king ; 
and also on account of their obedience to God, " hissing to 
them " to do His will. 

19. desolate valleys'] Or, of the steeps. See Gesen. 149. 

20. a rasor that is hired] Assyria had been hired by Ahaz, 
who distrusted the Lord, to defend him ; and Assyria would bo 
the Lord's hireling, to execute His vengeance on Ahaz and 
Judah. Cp. 2 Chron. xxviii. 20, 21; below, x. 5, 6, " Assy- 
rian, the rod of Mine anger ;" and x. 12. 

The prophecy here (as before, v. 19) passes from the times 
of the Assyrian to those of the Chaldsean supremacy ; and sees 
them both as one continuous sovereignty, and embraces in its 
range the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. 2 Kings 
xxiv. 1. 10—12; XXV. 1, 2. 

21. a man shall nourish a young cow, and two sheep] Tho 
land shall cease to be a land of corn, olives, and vines ; aud 
shall become a desolate wilderness, in which a few solitary 
inhabitauts will be scattered here and there, _ with a poor 
miserable homestead of one or two animals only, instead of rich 
flocks and herds. Cp. Jer. xxxix. 10, where it is related that 
Nebuzar-adan, the captam of the Chaldsean forces, " left of the 
poor of the people, which had nothing, in the laud of Jvidah." 

22. abundance of milk] Not from the multitude of cattle, 
but from the paucity of inhabitants. 

— butter and honey] Not corn, oil, and wine. 

23. at a thousand silverlings] At a thousand shekels for 
rent. Cp. Song of Solomon viii. 11. 

24. With arrows and with boivs] As huntsmen; and for 
self-defence. Compare the description of desolation and iusQ. 
curity in Judg. v. 6. 11. 

TJie conception and hirth ISAIAH VII. 25. VIII. 1 — 6. of the son of the prophetess. 





a ch. 30. 8. 
Hab. 2. 2. 
t Heb. I7i vialiing 
speed to the spoil 
he hasteneth the 
prey, or, Make 
speed, SiC. 
b2 Kings IG. 10. 
t Heb. approach- 
ed unto. 

c Seech. 7. IC. 
II Or, he that is 
before the king 
of Assyria shall 
take away the 
riches, ^c. 
d 2 Kings 15. 29. 
& Ifi. 9. 
ch. 17. 3. 
e Neh. 3. 15. 
John 9. 7. 

Because all the land shall become briers and thorns ; 
-^ And on all hills that shall be digged with the mattock, 
There shall not come thither the fear of briers and thorns : 
But it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, 

And for the treading of lesser cattle. 


roll, and 
2 And I 

VIII. ^ Moreover the Lord said unto me, Take thee a 
^ write in it with a man's pen concerning f Maher-shalal-hash-baz. 
took unto me faithful witnesses to record, '' Uriah the priest, and Zechariali 
the son of Jeberechiah. ^ And I f went unto the prophetess ; and she 
conceived, and bare a son. Then said the Lord to me. Call his name 
Maher-shalal-hash-baz. "^ Tor before the child shall have knowledge to 
cry, My father,- and my mother, [| '^ the riches of Damascus and the spoil of 
Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria. 

^ The Lord spake also unto me again, saying, 

^ Forasmuch as this people refusetli the waters of ^ Shiloah that go softly, 

25. on all hills that shall be digged^ Rather, that were 
formerly digged (wlien the land was cultivated, which it will 
cease to be) ; thou shalt not go thither ; thou shalt not even 
venture to walk (where before thou didst plough), for fear of 
briars and thorns, such will be its desolation. 

There was a providential dispensation in this devastation 
of Judah. If it had been colonized with idolatrous inhabitants 
from Media and Assyria, as Samaria, the capital of Israel, was, 
it would have been impossible, humanly speaking, for the cap- 
tive exiles of Judah to re-enter and re-possess Jerusalem, and 
to rebuild the Temple, as they did on their return from Baby- 
lon ; and it is not at all probable that Cyrus would have issued 
an edict authorizing the Jews to exterminate from Jerusalem 
Chaldffiau colonists, and to occupy their place. 

Cn. VIIT.] This eighth chapter ought not to be separated 
from the foregoing. It forms a part of the same prophecy, 
and explains what has preceded. See the note after vii. 16. 

1. Take thee a great roll] Rather, a great tablet, of metal 
or wood, so that all may see what is written on it. Cp. iii. 
23, where the word signifies a onirror ; and Gesen. 171. 

— loith a man's pen] Or, with the stylus of a man ; that 
is, in real characters, such as any one can read. Cp. xxx. 8. 
Hab. ii. 2 ; and note on Gal. vi. 11 ; and the phrase in Rev. 
xxi. 17, " The measure of a man." 

— concerning Maher-shalal-hash-baz] Or rather, for (i. e. 
this tablet is inscribed to) hastens booty (Fuerst, 779), or, 
haste, booty {Gesen. 454), speeds spoil (or, speed, spoil). 
These were the words to be inscribed in large characters on 
the tablet, — Hasten, Boott, Speeb, Spoii, — the meaning of 
which is explained in v. 4. 

2. Uriah the priest] Who, being in heart an enemy of Isaiah 
(see the history of his servile compliance with the idolatry of 
Ahaz, 2 Kings xvi. 10), would be a disinterested and credible 
witness. Uriah the Priest was to Isaiah what Caiaphas the 
High Priest was to Christ (John xi. 49 — 52 ; xviii. 14). 

— Zechariah] Perhaps the father-in-law of Ahaz (2 Kings 
xviii. 2), and therefore, like Uriah, a witness well known, and, 
probably, not favourable to Isaiah (Prof. Bbmt). 

3. the prophetess] A remarkable name, indicating that she 
had prophetic gifts. The ancient Fathers {Tertullian, c. 
Marcion, iii. 12, adv. Judajos, cap. 9 ; and so S. Basil, S. Cyril, 
S. Jerome, and others) see in her a faint image of the pro- 
phetess of the Gospel (the Blessed Virgin Mary), on whom the 
Holy Spirit came, in order that she might give birth to the 
Incarnate W^ord of God. 

Isaiah himself, the greatest of Hebrew prophets, the 
special instrument and organ of the Holy Spirit, may (with 
reverence be it said), as ancient Expositors suppose, have been 
designed to symbolize that pure and blessed Spirit, of Whom 
He was the organ. Isaiah expressly states, that not only his 
children {Shear-jashub and Maher-shalal-hash-baz) were 
signs and xvonders, but that he also himself, their father, was 
a sign and toonder {v. 18). These two sons were present and 
visible types of Him, W^bose name is Wonderftd (ix. 6) ; and 
Isaiah was a sign and figure of the wonderful operation of the 
Holy Spirit in the Incarnation of the Son of God. 

The son of the prophet and the prophetess was, in a very 

remarkable manner, a sign (see v. 18) and a type of Immanuel 
Himself, and of His glorious victories over all the enemies of 
God. See the note above, after vii. 16. 

In the foregoing chapter, the indwelling of God the Holy 
Ghost in the prophet Isaiah was displayed in a most illus- 
trious manner. We may almost say that the prophet lost his 
personal identity, and was absorbed into the Holt Spieit, 
Who spake by him (see v. 10 there) ; and by Whose divine 
power and overshadowing, the Holy One was conceived by 
the Blessed Virgin Mary (Luke i. 35. Matt. i. 20). 

— she conceived, and bare a son — Call his name MaJier- 
shalal-hash-baz] The connexion of these words with the prophecy 
concerning the birth of Immanuel has been already noticed in 
the note just referred to, on vii. 16; and see what follows here, 
which tlu'ows more light on the connexion. 

4. before the child shall have knowledge] See above, on 
vii. 16, and the note following, where the meaning of the 
repetition in this name is explained. 

Observe the spiritual significance of this typical name of 
the child of the prophet, in his relation to Christ. The child's 
name, given by God Himself, and composed of two synonymous 
elements, is Maher-shalal-hash-baz, which is prophetic of the 
imminent spoliation and devastation of the tivo combined 
powers, Israel and Syria, which were then leagued against the 
throne of David, and the Church of God. 

This name pre-signified the future spoliation and devasta- 
tion, to be achieved by Christ (the Divine Maher-shalal-hash-baz), 
of all powers opposed to Him, the Everlasting King of the 
house of David, and His Church, the spiritual Zion, whether 
those powers be, like Israel, heretical and idolatrous apostates 
from the Church of God, or whether they be, like Damascus, 
open infidels and heathens. He is a Maher-shalal-hash-baz to 
the Evil One, working in both of these forms. 

6. this people refuseth the ioaters of Shiloah that go softly] 
This pjeople (of Judah) refuseth, despiseth, and rejecteth the 
feebler waters of Jerusalem, and looks for help to the mighty 
stream of Assyrian power; therefore that stream shall be 
brought by God against thee to overwhelm thee. 

Rivers are often used as emblems of the countries in which 
they flow. Cp. Jer. ii. 13. 18; and the note on Rev. xvi. 12; 
and xvii. 15 ; and Virg. Aen. viii. 726; Horat., 2 Carm. ix. 21 ; 
Juvenal, iii. 62 : " Jampridem Syrus in Tiberim defluxit 

So here, the rill of Shiloah, the lowly fountain of Jeru- 
salem (see above, on vii. 3), is a symbol of the humbler power 
of Jerusalem (as far as outward appearance goes), contrasted 
with the Tigris and Euphrates, the great rivers of Assyria and 
Babylon, the powers of this world. 

The fountain of Siloam at Jerusalem, in its name, and in 
its mysterious subterranean derivations and flowings forth, was 
a remarkable figure, as St. John suggests (ix. 4. 7), and as 
ancient interpreters affirm (see S. Jerome, S. Cyril, and 
S. Basil here), of Cukist, the Incarnate Word, the Fountain 
of living waters ; and of the mystery of His coming forth and 
emission into the world, as it were by a secret subterranean 
channel beneath the soil of Jerusalem the Holy City, and 
refreshing its inhabitants with cool and pellucid water, — the 
living waters of the Gospel, and of the Holy Spirit of God. 

Sliiloali — prophecy of 


the Assijrian invasion. 

And rejoice '^in Eeziu and Kemaliali's son; 
^ Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them 

The waters of the river, strong and many, 

Even ^ the king of Assyria, and all his glory : 

And he shall come up over all his channels. 

And go over all his banks : 
^ And he shall pass through Judali ; 

He shall overflow and go over, 

^ He shall reach even to the neck ; 

And f the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, 
' Immanuel. 

^ *" Associate yourselves, ye people, 

II And ye shall be broken in pieces ; 

And give ear, all ye of far countries : 

Gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces ; 

Gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. 
^^ ' Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought ; 

Speak the word, "" and it shall not stand : 

" For God is with us. 

For the Lord spake thus to me f with a strong hand. 

And instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, 

Say ye not, A confederacy. 

To all tJiem to whom ° this people shall say, A confederacy ; 

p Neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. 







f ch. 7. 1,2,6. 

g ch. 10. 12. 

h ch. 30. 28. 

t IICO). /III! fill llCi) 

of ike bread III of 
lliij land shall be 
the strelckings 
out of his wings. 
ich. 7. 14. 
k Joel 3. 9, 11. 

II Or, yet. 

1 Job 5. 12. 
m ch. 7. 7. 

n ch. 7. 14. 
Acts 5. 38, 39. 
Rom. 8. 31. 
t Heb. inslrenijlh 
of hand. 

ch. 7. 2. 

p 1 Pet. 3. 14, l.'i. 

See what has been said above, on this interesting subject, in 
the note on Neh. iii. 15. 

The mention of Siloam is very appropriate here, where 
the prophecy extends to the rejection of the Uving waters of 
Christ Himself, the Divine Siloam, by this people, the Jews, 
on account of His mean and humble birth, and their confidence 
in worldly powers : " We will not have this man to reign over 
us " (Luke xbi. 14). " If we let this man thus alone . . the Romans 
shall come and take away our place and nation" (John xi. 48). 

— rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah's son'] Ratlier, and tliere 
i'^ joy with Sezin and Semaliah's son, instead of trust in God. 
This a])plies specially to Israel ; and the punishment overtook 
Israel first (2 Kings xvii. 5, 6) ; and thence it passed over to 
Judah, as the prophet here foretells. 

8. his goings'] As of an army flying on its course, like some 
terrible bird of prey. Because Jerusalem refused to trust for 
protection and shelter to the wings of the Lord, Who was 
enthroned at Jerusalem on the wings of the Cherubim, and 
Wlio promised to keep His people safe under His wings 
(Ps. Ixxx. 1; xcix. 1; xvii. 8j xxxvi. 7; Ivii. 1; Ixi. 4; 
Ixiii. 8 ; xci. 4), therefore their land would be overshadowed 
by the wings of the Assyrian army. Cp. Dan. ix. 27 ; and 
note below on the word wings in xviii. 1; and on our Lord's pro- 
phecy concerning Jerusalem, inMatt.xxiv.15, — a prophecy which 
receives much light from the present, and also illustrates it. 

— thy land, O Immanuel] Here is another point of contact 
with the prophecy in the foregoing chapter : " The Virgin 
shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Im- 
manuel " (vii. 14) ; and here is a proof that the person there 
pre-announccd was a Divine Person, already existing, even from 
Eternity. The land of Judah, the land of Jehovah, is called 
" the land of Immamiel." Here is another plain proof, before 
the birth of Maher-shalal-hash-haz, that Ahaz and Judah 
were not to sujiposc that the prophecy would be exhausted in 
his birth, but that they must look beyond to another more 
glorious birth prc-signified by it. 

9. Associate yourselves, O ye people] Or rather, Hage, ye 
nations, and he dashed in pieces. Since the throne of Judah 
is the throne of Immanuel, therefore all earthly powers, 
Assyria, Babylon, Rome, that rage against it, will be shivered, 
like spray and foam upon a rock. See v. 14. Cp. Dan. ii. 
34, 35. Matt. xvi. 18 : " The World will be wrecked on the 


Here is an expansion of the promise 
birth of Maher-shalal-hash-haz. See 

Rock of Immanuel." 
connected with the 
above, viii. 1 — 4. 

10. For God is tvith us] He repeats here the name Im- 
manuel, as the pledge of indestructibility to the throne of 
David and the Church of God. Its unfailing safeguard is in 
the promise of the Incarnation of Him, Who is God with us 
(vii. 14). 

11. For the Lord spaTce thus to me with a strong hand] 
Rather, The Lord spake to me thus. In the strength of the 
hand, — the liand of the Lord God Incarnate, — do thou put 
thy trust. See the note above, on Jehovah-Nissi (Exod. xvii. 
15, 16), " Because the hand is on the throne of the Lord," 
which is the best exposition of this passage. Trust thou in 
the strength of that hand. 

12. Say ye not, A confederacy] Rather, Call ye not treason 
(or rehellion), what they call treason or rebellion. So Syriac, 
Targuni, and Delitzsch. The word rendered confederacy is 
kesher, which occurs in thirteen places in the Old Testament ; 
and in all these, except the present, it is rightly rendered in 
our Version by conspiracy or treason. 

The Jews, in the time of the prophets, and in Christ's 
days, denounced all honest opposition to the infatuation of 
Rulers and People, revolting from God, and resorting to human 
power and worldly expediency for help in times of difficulty, 
as treason against the Rulers and the Nation. Cp. 1 Kings 
xviii. 17. Jer. xxxvii. 14. Amos vii. 10. Luke xxiii. 2. 
Acts xvii. 7. In every age, genuine loyalty and honest patriotism 
are often traduced as disaflection to the ruling powers. 

— Neither fear ye their fear] Do not adopt their language, 
censuring loyalty to Jehovah as treason against the State; 
nor fear ye what they feai', namely, the confederacy of such 
evil powers, as Israel leagued with Syria against Jerusalem 
and against God. Compare 1 Pet. iii. 13 — 15, upon a com- 
parison of which text (as read in the best MSS.), with the 
words before us, it will appear that St. Peter dcclai-cs Cheist 
to be jEHOVAn. So the Iloly Spirit does here. He proceeds 
to speak of Him as a Bock in vv. 14, 15, and in other expres- 
sions, which are applied to Christ crucified by the Holy Spirit 
in the New Testament, and by Christ Himself (1 Pet. ii. 7, 8. 
Cp. Luke XX. 18. Rom. ix. *32, 33 ; xi. 11. 1 Cor. i. 23). 
The word Rock is the Name of God. See on Matt. xvi. 18. 

To the Law and the Testimony. ISAIAH VIII. 13—21. 

"Mo light, otherwise. 

q Num. 20. 12. 
r Ps. 70. 7. 
Luke 12. 5. 
s Ezek. 11. IG. 
t cU. 2S 16. 
Luke 2. 34. 
Rom. 9. 33. 
1 Pet. 2. 8. 

uMatt. 21. 44. 
Luke 20. 18. 
Rom. 9. 32. & 
11. 25. 

X ch. 54. 8. 

y Hab. 2 3. 
Luke 2. 25, 38. 

z Heb. 2. 13. 

aPs. 71. 7. 
Zech. 3. 8. 

b 1 Sam. 28. 8. 
ch. li). 3. 

d Ps. lOG. 2S. 

e Luke 16. 29. 

f Micah 3. 6. 
+ Heb. no morn- 

g Rev. 16. 11. 

^^ '' Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself ; 

Aucl ' let him he yom* fear, and let him he your dread. 
^^ And ' he shall be for a sanctuary ; 

But for ^ a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses 
of Israel, 

For a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 
^^ And many among them shall " stumble, and fall, and be broken, 

And be snared, and be taken. 

^^ Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. 
^7 And I will wait upon the Lord, 

That "" hideth his face from the house of Jacob, 

And I ^ will look for him. 
1^ ^ Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me 

^ Ave for signs and for wonders in Israel 

From the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion. 

1^ And when they shall say unto you, ^ Seek unto them that have familiar 
And unto wizards '^ that peep, and that mutter : 
Should not a people seek unto their God ? 
For the living ^ to the dead ? 
2" ^ To the law and to the testimony : 
If they speak not according to this word, 
It is because ^ there is f no light in them ; 

And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry : 
And it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret 

And ^ curse their king and their God, 
And look upward. 


16. Bind up the testimony, seal tlie law among my disciples'] 
These words have a twofold sense : first, as used by the prophet, 
declaring his ov^n trust in God (as Vitringa and others suppose) ; 
and, secondly, as adopted by Christ, commanding the foregoing 
prophetic testimony (which is continued to the end of chap, 
xii., concerning His own Incarnation and future glory), to be 
carefully treasured up and sealed (see Dan. viii. 26 ; xii. 4. 9. 
Rev. xxii. 10) ; so that its truth may be avouched in future 
ages by those who are His disciples. 

That these words have this double application, partly, 
first, to Isaiah; and, secondly, to Christ, is evident from 
vv. 17, 18, where Isaiah specially speaks, and from the fact 
that these words are quoted in the New Testament, as uttered 
by Christ (Heb. ii. 13). 

This is easily explained. The Spirit of Christ was ia 
laaiah. See 1 Pet. i. 11. He is the Loi'd of hosts (see on 
V. 13), and spake by the pi'ophets. Isaiah had a double cha- 
racter : first, as an individual ; and, secondly, as an organ of 
Christ ; and his words have a double character also. 

18. Behold, I and the children whom the Loed hath given 
me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of 
hosts'] The uiterjectiou Behold, calls attention to something 
marvellous, and connects these words with vii. 14 : " Behold, 
the Virgin shall conceive ;" and Isaiah the prophet declares 
that both he himself, and also the children which the Lord 
hath given him, are signs, — present tokens, symbols, types, 
and pledges of future mercies, — and also wonders, miraculous 
portents, challenging the attention of men, and pointing to 
something which God was speaking by their means. In what 
respects they were signs MxAivonders has been already considered. 
See note on viii. 1 — 4. 

19. that peep] Or, that whisper, or chirp, like birds. Cp. 
on X. 14; and xxxviii. 14 [Gesen. 717). 


— For the living to the dead] What madness to practise 
necromancy, and to consult the dead, either spirits of dead 
men, as the witch of Endor did (1 Sam. xxviii. 11 — 14), or 
dead idols (Ps. cvi. 28), in order to know what concerns living 
men, and much more, what belongs to the living God ! 

20. To the law and to the testimony] Do not resort to the 
dead, do not go to idols and necromancers, but to the written 
Word of the Living God. To this the prophets appeal ; and to 
this we are sent by Christ and His Apostles (Luke x. 26 ; 
xvi. 29. Rom. iv. 3. 2 Tim. iii. 15—17. 2 Pet. i. 19—21). 

— If they spealc not according to this word] If they do not 
hold this maxim and rule, namely, that an appeal is to be 
made to " the Law and the Testimony," the Written Word of 
the Living God, the reason of this is, that there is no light 
in them, or rather, that there is no dawn to them; — they have 
not as yet been visited by the first orient streaks and gleams 
of a spiritual day-spring, but are in the darkness of night. 

Here is a clear assertion, that the fundamental principle 
on which all Churches are to be built up, is this, — that the 
Written Word of God is the Rule of Faith and Practice, and 
that all must appeal to it. This is the foundation on which 
the Church of England builds (see her sixth Article), as con- 
trasted with the Church of Rome, in the fourth Session of the 
Council of Trent, where she places her own unwritten tradi- 
tions on a level with the Written Word of God ; and in practice 
she makes that Word to be of none eflect by her traditions. 

The prophet says, that all are in darkness who do not 
appeal to the Written Word of God as their Rule and Standard 
of faith and practice. And how great, therefore, is the guilt 
of those who Avithhold the Scriptures from the people ! 

21, 22. And they shall pass] Rather, And it (the people 
who do not believe, and who do not resort to the Written Word 
Tor light) goes about in it (in their land of darkness) hardly 

■Galileejhe land of darkness, ISAIAH VIII. 22. IX. 1—4. sluill he the land of Light. 

22 And '■ they shall look nnto the earth ; 

And behold trouble and darkness, ' dimness of anguish ; 
And they shall he driven to darkness. 
IX. ^ Nevertheless "" the dimness shall not he such as was in Jier vexation, 
When at the ^ first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebuluu and the land of 
And '' afterward did more grievously afflict her 
By the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee || of the nations. 

2 "^ The people that walked in darkness have seen a great hght : 

They that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the 
light shined. 

3 Thou hast multiplied the nation, and \\ not increased the joy : 
They joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, 

And as men rejoice * when they divide the spoil. 
^ II For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden. 
And ^ the staff of his shoulder. 
The rod of his oppressor. 
As in the day of ^ Midian. 





h ch. 5. 30. 

i ih. 9. 1. 

a ch. 8. L'2. 
b 2 Kings 15. 23. 
2 Chron. 16. 4. 

c Lov. 2C. 24. 
2 Kings 17. 5, 0. 

I Cliron. 5. 2G. 




II Or, populous. 
cl Matt. 4. 16. 
Eph. 6. 8, 14. 

II Or, to him. 

e Judg. S. 30. 

II Or, When thou 


f ch. 10. 5. & 


p Judg. 7. 22. 
Ps 8.S. !). 
ch. 10.26. 

pressed and famishing (with spiritual hunger, Amos viii. 11) ; 
and it comes to pass that tuhen it is famishing it frets itself, 
and curses its king and its God (cp. Kev. xvi. 11. 21), and 
lifts its face nptvard, and looks to the earth, and behold 
tribulation, dimness, and darJcness of anguish, atid it (the 
people) is thrust into thick gloom. Such was the condition of 
the people without the light of the Written Word of God. 
The Prophet ascribes their misery to their ignorance of the 
Holy Scriptures. 

But, thanks be to God, a light now dawns upon the 
world, and is announced in the following chapter, which fore- 
tells the beaming forth of that light in the Gospel; and which 
ought not to be separated from the present. 

The Peeaching of Cheist in Galilee. 

Ch. IX. 1. Nevertheless — NapMaW] Rather, For there will 
not be darkness (the Prophet repeats two words of the fore- 
going verse at the end of the last chapter) to him who was 
before in anguish in it (in the land). The sense is, God has 
smitten Judah with darkness and with anguish for their 
neglect of the light He gave to them in His Word ; and also 
because He has a gift of light in store for others, who had fewer 
spiritual privileges than Judah, namely, Galilee of the Gen- 
tiles. And because that Land was the first to be visited with 
distress, it shall be the first to receive the Light of the Gospel. 
This sentence ought to be read in connexion with the foregoing 
chapter, to which it is a sequel. 

— When at thefirsf] Rather, at the first time He humbled 
(lit. he brought into contempt, or made to be despised) the 
land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali. 

The verb here used is the hiphil of kalal, to be vile, to be 
lightly esteemed ; and the piel of it is rendered to curse, in the 
foregoing chapter (y. 21) ; and the piial is translated by ac- 
cursed, in Ixv. 20; and the hiphil infinitive is rendered, to 
bring into contempt, in xxiii. 9; which is the right translation 
here. Cp. Gesen. 733. 

The land of Zebulun and Naphtali was the first to be 
brought into contempt by the armies of Assyria (see 2 Kings 
XV. 29, where GalOee and Naphtali are specified), and it was 
t\^(i first to be honoured by the ministry of Christ. 

— And afterward did more grievously ajfflict~\ Rather, but 
in the latter time He brought it to honour. The word here 
used is the hiphil of cabad, to be heavy ; and is connected with 
"obod, glory. Hence the meaning is obvious. St. Paul seems 
to refer to this passage — " our light affliction, which is but for 
a moment, worketh for us a fai" more exceeding and eternal 
weight of glory (2 Cor. iv. 17). 

This word, in the same form, is rightly translated by 

glorify in Jer. xxx. 19, and so it ought to be translated here; 

cp. below, XXV. 3; xxvi. 15 ; xxix. 13; xliii. 23 ; xlix. 5, where 

the same verb is rendered in this sense; which is further explained 

Vol. V. Paet I.— 25 

in the following verso, " the people that walked in darkness 
have seen a great liglit." Cp. Hengst., Christol., 70 — 74. 

— her by the tvag of the sea — in Galilee of the nations'] The 
words " her by " and " in " before " Galilee," which are not iu 
the original, would be better omitted. The way of the sea (or 
region on the sea) beyond Jordan, Galilee of the nations, is in 
apposition with Zebulun and Naphtali, which were beyond 
Jordan to the Assj'rians, the former invaders, from whose 
standing-point the Prophet may be regarded as speaking. Cp. 
above, on Gen. 1. 11. Num. xxii. 1. Deut. i. 1. 5; iii. 20. Josh, 
i. 14, 15 ; whence it appears that the Hebi'ew phrase rendered 
"beyond Jordan," may be rendered either so, or "this side 
Jordan," according to tlie position of the speaker. 

That this prophecy was fulfilled by our Blessed Lord's 
choice of Galilee as the special scene of His ministry, and as 
the region from which He called His Apostles, is certain from 
Matt. iv. 15, 16; and therefore it is fitly appointed by the 
Church to be read on Christmas Day. See v. 6. 

The word rendered Galilee is Galil, which properly means 
a ring, ov circle ; hence a circuit, or region (Gesen. 172); cp. 
the Hebrew ciccar (Gen. xiii. 10, 11 ; xix. 17), which also 
means a circle, and hence a circumjacent region, especially the 
plain of Jordan (Gesew. 396). 

3. not increased the Joy] Rather, increased the joy to it (to 
the people) ; as in the keri. The cause of this confusion in 
the MSS. has already been noticed on Job xiii. 15, and Ps. c. 3. 
(Cp. Pfeiffer, Dubia, p. 361, and Prof. Selwyn.) 

— joy in harvest] On which see Ps. iv. 7. The metaphor 
is very appropriate to the joy of the Apostolic reapers of the 
spiritual harvest of the Gospel, who went forth fi-om Sion after 
that they had been endued with power by the Holy Ghost at 
Pentecost, the season of wheat-harvest. See on Acts ii. 1. 
Matt. ix. 38. John iv. 35—37. 

— the spoil] Heb. shalal. Observe this word, taken up 
from the name of Isaiah's son Maher-shalal-hash-baz, viii. 1. 
They (in Galilee) who were the first of Israel to be spoiled by 
Assyria, are now the first to divide the spoil under the Gospel. 
Cp. on Gen. xlix. 27, and Matt. xii. 29. 

4. thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of 
his shoulder] Thou hast broken the yoke which pressed con- 
tinually on his neck (cp. x. 27 ; xiv. 25. Nahum i. 13) ; and the 
staff", or stick, by which he was smitten on his shoulder, if he 
did not do the work of his taskmaster. Cp. x. 24. 

In a spiritual sense, Christ has freed us from the yoke 
of sin and Satan, and has broken the rod of the curse of the 
Law, iu its extreme rigour (see on Gal. iii. 13); and has lirouglit 
us under His easy yoke and His light burden (Matt. xi. 29) ; and 
has redeemed us into the glorious liberty of the children of God 
(Rom. viii. 21). 

— As in the day of Midian] When Gideon routed the 
immense host of the Midiauites by means of his 300 chosen 


To us a Child is horn, 

ISAIAH IX. 5—7. 

JVho is the Mighty God. 


n Or, If'hen the 
irliols battle of 
the warrior was, 

h ch. 6fi. 15, 16. 
II Or, and it 
was, S)-c. 
t Heb. meat. 
i ch. 7. 14. 
Luke 2. 11. 
k John 3. 16. 
1 Matt. 2S. 18. 
1 Cor. 15.25. 
ni Judg. 13. 18. 
n Tit. 2. 13. 
o Eph. 2. 14. 
p Dan. 2. 44. 
Luke 1. 32, 33. 

II For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, 

And garments rolled in blood ; 

'' II But this shall be with burning and f fuel of fire ; 

' For unto us a child is born, 

Unto us a ^ son is given : 

And ' the government shall be upoii his shoulder : 

And his name shall be called 

•" Wonderful, Counsellor, " The mighty God, 

The everlasting Father, " The Prince of Peace. 

Of the increase of his government and peace ^ there shall he no end. 

Upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, 

men, with the trumpets which they hlew, and the earthen 
pitchers which they broke, from which the hght of the torches 
flashed upon their enemies, — a noble image of the acts of the 
Evangelical soldiers of Christ ; see above, the notes at the end 
of the sixth and seventh chapters of Judges (on the acts of 
Gideon, a signal type of Christ). 

5. For every battle— fire'] Eather, For every equipment of 
the warrior who equips himself in the battle, and garments (the 
military sagum) rolled in blood, shall be fuel for burning and 

food for fire ; see v. 18, and Ps. xlvi. 9 — 11, " He burueth the 
chariot with fire." As to the word rendered equipment, see 
Fuerst, 963, under the word seon, which he renders equipment, 
or armour ; others translate it by greave, or military boot 
{Drechsler, Del. Gesen. 575, Hengst. 84; cp. above, v. 27). All 
the armour of the enemy will be like the spoil of Jericho, to be 
burnt with fu'e (see Josh. vi. 24). This is the fote of the enemies 
of Christ (the divine Maher-shalal-hash-baz), and of His Gospel. 
See Rev. xvii. 16 ; xviii. 8; xxi. 8. 

6. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given] 
Those words seem to have been in the mind of the Angel 
at Bethlehem : " Behold, I bring nnto you glad tidings of 
great joy, which shall be to all people. For u7ito you is born 
this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the 
Lord" (Lukeii. 10, 11). 

The Prophet rejoices, with all the people of God, in the 
sight of the fulfilment of the prophecy which he had delivered 
to the house of David, — " Behold, the Virgin shall conceive 
and bear a Son, and shall call His name Imiianuel " (vii. 14). 
Both these prophecies are read on Christmas Day. 

On this text see Bp. Andrewes' Sermons, i. 18. 

— the government shall be up)on his shoulder] He will 
break the staff of the oppressoi*, by which the shoulders of His 
people are smitten (y. 4), and shall bear the weight of govern- 
ment on His own shoulder, — a government received in con- 
sequence of His obedience in bearing the Cross (Phil. ii. 8, 9), 
and in bearing the sins of the world upon it (below, liii. 5, 6. 
1 Pet. ii. 24). In xxii. 22 He is described as bearing the key 
of the house of David on His shoulder (cp. Rev. iii. 7). On 
Him is laid all the weight, and to Him belongs all the glory, 
of sovereignty, with which He is invested as with a royal 
mantle thrown over His shoulder. 

— And his name shall be called] Or, one sJiall call Sis 
Name, Wonderful ; see above, on Judg. xiii. 18, where the 
Angel of the Lord says that His name is Wonderful, pilei, 
the same word in substance as that {pile) which is used here. 
See Oesen. 674, and note above, on Judg. xiii. 19 ; and cp. on 
Prov. XXX. 4, and Rev. xix. 12, where He is described as having 
a name which no one understands but He Himself. 

— Counsellor] See xi. 1, 2. 1 Cor. i. 24. 

— The mighty God] Heb. El Gibbor, a name applied to 
God Himself in the next chapter, v. 21 (cp. Deut. x. 17. Ps. 
xxiv. 8. Jcr. xxxii. 18. Neh. ix. 32), and showing the Godhead 
of the Child here pre-announced. He Who is El Gibbor, is 
also Immanu-EL — God with us. 

On this prophecy see Hengst., Christol., 85—88 ; Pusey, 
Lectures on Daniel, pp. 482, 483. 

" In Isaiah there occurs that wonderful prophecy of One 
Who should be born a Child, yet of Whose personal rule there 
should be no end ; Whose reign should not pass away, like that 
of mortal kings, who succeed others, to be succeeded by others, 
but which should endure from thenceforth even for ever (Isa. 
ix. 7). The line of David had lasted, from father to son, nearly 
three centuries, when Isaiah so prophesied. God had promised 
to David (2 Sara. vii. 16), " Thine house and thy kingdom shall 
he established for ever before thee." Three centuries had verified 

the promise. Isaiah opens another mode of its fulfilment. It 
was no longer to be from father to son, but was to abide in one 
individual. Who should be born of his seed. Of Him he gives 
that wondrous prophecy of lowliness and Divinity united in the 
Incarnation. Isa. ix. 6, " Unto us a Child is born, unto its a Son 
is given : and the government shall be upon His shoulder : and 
His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, 
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace." El, the name of God, is no- 
where used absolutely of any but God. The word is once used 
relatively, in its first appellative sense, Ezek. xxxi. 11, the 
mighty of the nations, in regard to Nebuchadnezzar. It occurs 
absolutely in Hebrew 225 times, and in every place is used of 
God. It has been observed how, in Hebrew too, it is specially 
used in union with some attribute of God : " God most High," 
" God Almighty," " a jealous God," " the Living God," " God 
compassionate and gracious," " God, the great and terrible," 
and the like ; as, here, " Mighty God." This way of rendering 
the words in pairs agrees also with the immediate context, in 
which the title of the Saviour, Who was to be given, is, in the 
three other cases, expressed in pairs of words. Decisive, how- 
ever, is the occurrence of the same phrase in the next chapter. 
There no one could render otherwise than x. 21, " A remnant 
shall return to the mighty God." 'No one can doubt that such 
is the natural meaning of the words El Gibbor. Any one 
acquainted with Hebrew, if asked irrelatively of any context, 
"What is the meaning of the woi-ds El Gibbor?" would 
answer at once "Mighty God;" just as one acquainted with 
Latin would answer, that " Deus Omnipotens" means "God 
Almighty." There is no more real doubt about the one than 
about the other. Had any Hebrew writer wished to express 
might only, he could have been at no loss to do so, without 
taking words belonging to God alone. It would then have 
been simply misleading to have used those words at all, unless 
the Prophet had used them in their simple meaning; and this 
not in a matter of slight moment, but in one touching the 
centre of the faith. The Jewish people was a witness to the 
Unity of God the Creator. The doctrine of the Trinity enlarges 
the doctrine of the Unity, by revealing fully that of which 
indications only were given in the Old Testament, the mode 
of the existence of the One God. The doctrine of the Trinity 
being true, it is in accordance with all God's other ways of teach- 
ing the Jews, that He should have gradually prepared men's 
minds for the full revelation of the doctrine" (Pusey, Lectures 
on Daniel, p. 482). 

— The everlasting Father] Literally, fke Father of Eternity. 
See xliv. 17, margin ; and Ivii. 15. Though He is a Son, yet 
He is also a Father, without beginning of days or end of 
life. Christ is the Father of a faithful seed, which v.'ill partake 
of His eternal duration. See John x. 28. Rom. vi. 23. 
Heb. V. 9 ; ix. 12. Rev. i. 8. He is the Father of Eternity, 
both as everlasting {Targum), and as Author and Giver of eternal 
life to His children {S. Jerome, Luther, Hengst); for "as in 
Adam all die, so in Christ all are made alive." 

— Prince of Peace] Of peace and all its blessings, described 
in chap. xi. Cp. Ps. Ixxii. 7. Micah v. 5 : "This man shall be 
our peace;" and Zech. ix. 10. Eph. ii. 14. Col. i. 20. 

7. Of the increase] To the increase of the government, and 
to the peace there is no end upon the throne of David. This 
is the design of His Coining, as the angel Gabriel declared to 
the blessed Virgin (Luke i. 32, 33). 

In the Hebrew original here, there is a closed or final 
mem in the middle of the word signifying for increase (Heb. 
le-marbeh), to which a spiritual meaning is given by some 
of the Hebrew Expositors. It seems to be designed to call 
special attention to these words. Cp. Pfeiffer, p. 364. 

Evangelical p'omises 

ISAIAH IX. 8—18. 

followed by warnings. 

To order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice 

From henceforth even for ever. 

The '' zeal of the Lobd of hosts will perform this. 

^ The Lord sent a word into Jacob, 

And it hath lighted upon Israel ; 
^ And all the people shall know. 

Even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, 

That say in the pride and stoutness of heart, 
^^ The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones : 

The sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars. 
^' Therefore the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Kezin against him, 

And tjoin his enemies together; 
^■^ The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind ; 

And they shall devour Israel f with open mouth. 

"■ For all this his anger is not turned away. 

But his hand is stretched out still. 

^^ For 'the people turncth not unto liim that smiteth them, 

Neither do they seek the Lord of hosts. 
^^ Therefore the Lord will cut off from Israel head and tail, 

Branch and rush, ' in one day. 
^^ The ancient and honourable, he is the head ; 

And the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. 
16 For " II the leaders of this people cause them to err ; 

And II they that are led of them are f destroyed. 
''^ Therefore the Lord "" shall have no joy in their young men, 

Neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows : 

^ For every one is an hy]^)ocrite and an evildoer, 

And every mouth speaketh || folly. 

^ For all this his anger is not turned away, 

But his hand is stretched out still. 

^^ For mckedness ^ burnetii as the fire : 
It shall devour the briers and thorns. 
And shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, 





q 2 Kings 19. 31. 

ch. 37. 32. 


t Heb. mintjle. 

+ Heb. with 
whole mouth, 
r ch. 5. 25. & 
10. 4. 
Jer. 4. 8. 

s Jer. 5. 3. 
Hos. 7. 10. 

t ch. 10. 17. 
Rev. 18. 8. 

u ch. 3. 12. 

II Or, the;/ t/itil 

call them blessed. 

II Or, they that 

are called blessed 

of them. 

+ Heb. swallowed 


X Ps. 147. 10, 11. 

y Micah 7. 2. 

II Or, villany. 

z ver. 12, 21. 
ch. 5. 25. & 10. 4. 

ach. 10. 17. 
Mai. 4. i. 

— To order if] To strenprthcn it. 

— with judgment and tvith Justice'] See Jer. xxiii. 5, 6. 

— The zeal of the Loed of hosts will perform this] The 
game words occur at the close of the similar prophecy, xxxvii. 
32. God is a zealous and a jealous God. He burns with the 
flame of love for His people, and with jealousy also, which 
will not bear that His chosen ones, whom He loves as a 
husband loves his bride, should be under the dominion of evil 
powers ; and therefore He will consume, as with fire, all that 
oppose the faith, and are enemies of IHs kingdom. See above, 
V. 5. This is enlarged upon in the prophecies which follow, 
and which foretell the destruction of His foes. 

8. The Lord sent a word] The announcement of future 
mercies in the Gospel is followed by warnings to God's people ; 
these are connected by a common link (see v. 12), and con- 
tinued to the end of %\ 4 of the following chaptei". 

9. shall knoio] Shall feel His wrath. 

10. The bricks are fallen doivn] Our fortresses have been 
dismantled; but we will build stronger ones in their place. 
Instead of bricks, we will use stone.s, and cedars instead of 
sycamores. Tliis is the language of Israel, taken collectively 
here with Judah, who have not been humbled by afflictiojij and 
have not turned to God : see v. 13. 

On the commonness and cheapness of sycamores, as com- 

pared with cedars, see above, 1 Kings x. 27. 2 Chron. i. 15; 
ix. 27. 

11. the Lord shall set up] The Lord shall raise aloft the 
enemies of Rezin (namely, the Assyrians, 2 Kings xvi. 6) 
against him, against the people of Israel, who had allied itself 
with Rezin ; and against Judah, which had feared Rezin more 
than God. 

12. The Syrians before] The Syrians from one end of 
Palestine, and the Philistines from the other (cp. 2 Chron. 
xxviii. 16 — 19), wiU be brought against Israel and Judah 
respectively, which trusted in earthly alliances and worldly 
confederacies, rather than on God. 

— For all this his anger — hi^ hand is stretched out stilf] 
This is a common formula, which connects this series of pro- 
phecies together. See vv. 17. 21; and x. 4. 

14. branch and rush] The palm -branch oi the higher ground, 
and the rfw/iof thelow marsh-land — high and low {Gesen.^O). 

17. hypocrite] Rather, an impious man. See x. 6. 

18. tuickedness burneth as the fire : it shall devour] It is 
the wickedness of Israel itself which kindles God's wrath 
against them ; as the Prophet says, " O Israel, thou hast 
destroyed thyself" (Hos. xiii. 9). Cp. above, i. 31. 

— thorns, and — thickets] Individual sinners, and entiro 
communities of the wicked. Cp. x. 3 1. 

E 2 

Warnings to GocVs People. ISAIAH IX. 19—21. X. 1—5. 

Woe to Assyria, 


b ch. 8. 22. 
i Heb. meat. 

c Micah 7. 2, 6. 

t Heb. cut. 

d Lev. 26. 26. 

e ch. 49. 26. 
Jer. 19. 9. 

f ver. 12, 17. 
ch. 5. 25. Si 10 

a Ps. 58. 2. & 
SI'. 20. 
II Or, to the 
writers that . 
write grievous- 

b Job 31. 14. 
c Hos. 9. 7. 
Luke 19. 44. 

d ch. 5. 25. & 
9. 12, 17, 21. 

II Or, Woe to the 


t Heb Asshur. 

e Jer. 51. 29. 

And they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke. 
1^ Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts is ^ the land darkened, 

And the people shall be as the f fuel of the fire : 

■^ No man shall spare his brother. 
^^^ And he shall f snatch on the right hand, and be hungry ; 

And he shall eat on the left hand, '^ and they shall not be satisfied 

' They shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm : 
21 Manasseh, Ephraim ; and Ephraim, Manasseh : 

And they together shall he against Judah. 

^ For all this his anger is not turned away, 

But his hand is stretched out still. 
X. ^ Woe unto them that * decree unrighteous decrees, 

And II that write grievousness wMcli they have prescribed ; 
- To turn aside the needy from judgment, 

And to take away the right from the poor of my people, 

That widows may be their prey. 

And that they may rob the fatherless ! 
3 And '' what will ye do in "" the day of visitation, 

And in the desolation ivhich shall come from far ? 

To whom will ye flee for help ? 

And where will ye leave your glory ? 
^ Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, 

And they shall fall under the slain. 

^ For all this his anger is not turned away. 

But his hand is stretched out still. 

^ II f Assyrian, * the rod of mine anger, 

19. the land is darkened^ Eather, the land is scorched up 
{^Sept., Targuiin). 

— the people shall he as the fuel of the fire"] A prophecy 
which was fulfilled in the conflagration of Jerusalem by the 
Chaldseans, and afterwards by the Romans, and which will 
receive its final accomplishment in the fire that will burn up 
the world (2 Pet. iii. 10—13). 

— No man shall spare his brother'] No ; nor even women 
their children. See Lev. xxvi. 29. Dent, xxviii. 54. Jer. 
xix. 9. 

20. shall snatch] Or, shall hacTc and hew (Q-esen. 166). 

21. Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh] Not 
only will Ephraim (or Israel) vex Judah (cp. xi. 13), but it 
will devour even also its own fraternal tribe, Manasseh. These 
prophecies of intestine and internecine bloodshed in Palestine 
were fulfilled in such struggles of Israel and Judah as are 
described in 2.Chron. xx\'iii. 6—9, and in the civil discords 
and confusion of the last days of the kings of Israel, most of 
whom perished by assassination (see above, on 2 Kings xv. 9), 
and much more in the dreadful feuds and civil carnage in the 
last days of Jerusalem (see below, on Matt. xxiv. 15) ; and it 
is much to be feared, that they may have a further fulfil- 
ment in Christendom, in the latter days. 

It is to be regretted that the present chapter is made to 
break off here, instead of being continued to the end of v. 4 
of the following chapter, which is part of a series of prophetic 
warnings, connected by the link ot a common formula. See on 
V. 12 of the foregoing chapter. 

Cn. X. 1. Woe unto them] This is a continuation of what 
lias gone before. See the preceding note. 

— And that -write grievousness] Rather, and to writers 
who icrite grievousness, i. e. who execute written documents, 
which exact what is unjust {Sept., Vulg., and Sgriac). 

3. the desolation] The storm, coming with a crash, and 
bringing desolation with it. See Prov. i. 27- Ezek. xxxviii. 9. 
Gesen. 807. 

— To tvhoni will ge fee for lielp 1] They resorted to Egypt, 
but in vain. Cp. Hos. vii. 11. 

— where will ye leave your glory T] In whose hands will ye 
deposit your glory as a treasure for safe keeping ? Your glory 
will flee away like a bird (Hos. ix. 11). Cp. below, xvii. 4. 

4. Without me] This translation is confirmed by other 
passages ; as Hos. xiii. 4. Cp. 1 Sam. ii. 2 ; and Gesen. 124. 
It may also be rendered by except : " What is there left for 
joM, except to how down?" So Sept. and Delitzsch. Cp. Num. 
xi. 6. Dan. xi. 18. Amos iii. 3. 

— boio dotvn] As in the stocks, in which the head, feet, and 
hands were cramped together. 

Woe to Asstbia : the geeat Woeldlt Powee, peoxtdly 
opposing itself to god. 

5. O Assyrian] Eather, Woe to Assyria. The same in- 
terjection is used here as in v. 1, where it is rendered ivoe. 

In the previous prophecy (ix. 18 — 21 ; x. 1 — 4), God had 
denounced woe against His own people Israel and Judah ; for 
"judgment begins at the house of God" (1 Pet. iv. 17). This 
woe would be inflicted upon them by God, u.sing great Powers of 
the world, — Assyria, Babylon, and Rome, — as instruments in 
His hands for executing His judgments. 

But lest it should be imagined (as these worldly Powers 
would be prone to imagine, see vv. 7 — 11) that they had 
wrought this work of destruction by the independent might 
of their own arm, and had conquered the Lord God of Israel 
and Judah, because they had vanquished His people, therefore 
the Lord here foretells that they also will be destroyed ; and 
He reveals the cause of their destruction, viz. their pride and 
presumption in arrogating the glory of their conquests to 

He also reveals that the mission of the greatest Powers of 
this World is to prepare the way for the future triumphs of 
His own Kingdom in Cheist. 

— the rod of mine angtr] The greatest Empire of the world 
is but a wand in God's hand, which He moves as easily as a 

Assyria GocVs tnsfniment 

ISAIAH X. 6—13. 

for chastening Judah. 

II iVncl the staff in tlicir hand is mine indignation. 
^ I will send him against ^ an hypocritical nation, 

And against the people of my wrath will I ^ give him a charge 

To take the spoil, and to take the prey. 

And f to tread them down like the mire of the streets. 
^ ^ Howbeit he meaneth not so, 

Neither doth his heart think so ; 

But it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few. 
^ ' For he saith, 

Are not my princes altogether kings ? 
^ Is not ^ Calno ' as Carchemish ? 

Is not Hamath as Arpad ? 

Is not Samaria "" as Damascus ? 
^° As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, 

And whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria ; 
1* Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols. 

So do to Jerusalem and her idols ? 
^2 Wherefore it shall come to pass, that 

When the Lord hath performed his whole work 

" Upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, 

° I will f punish the fruit f of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, 

And the glory of his high looks. 
13 P j^or lie saith, 

By the strength of my hand I have done it, 

II Or, though. 
f ch. 9. 17. 
g Jer. 34. 22. 

t Heb. to lay 
them a treading. 
h Gen. 50. 20. 
Micah 4. 12. 

12 Kings 18. 24, 
33, &c. & 
19. 10, &c. 

k Amos fi. 2. 
1 2 Chron. 35. 20. 

m 2 Kirgs 16. 9. 

n 2 Kings 19. 51. 

o Jer. 50. 18. 

t Heb. visit upon. 

t Heb. of the 

greatness of the 


p Isa. 37. 24. 

Ezek. 28. 4, &c. 

Dan. 4. 30. 

straw. Compare Jer. li. 20, where God speaks of Nebuchad- 
nezzar as His own instrument, in similar terms. 

— the staff in their hand'] Their very sceptre is My wrath. 
My HTath is its moving principle, and gives it all the power it 

6. I will send himl Assyria was sent with a commission 
from God to punish the sins of Israel and Judah, a people once 
His, and a holy nation, but now a people profone and impious 
(Heb. chanaph, Job viii. 13; xiii. 16; xv. 34; xvii. 8),— a 
people formerly the object of His love, but now of His 

— spoil — pre^l See above, viii. 1. They shall be a 
IMaher-shalal-hash-baz for them, because they have become 
Mine enemies, and have rebelled against Me. 

7. Soiobeit he meaneth not] Assyria, in its proud exaltation, 
deems herself to be the sovereign agent, instead of being a 
dependent instrument in God's hands. Compare the sublime 
ajjpeal to Assyria, below, xxxvii. 22 — 29. 

8. my princes altogether kings] My nobles and satraps, 
especially my captains {Gesen. 754), are all of them also kings, 
eijual to kings in dignity and power. And, indeed, many 
of Assyria's princes were kings of nations (cp. 2 Kings xxv. 28) ; 
and Asshur himself was called the Great King (xxxvi. 4), and 
claimed for himself the " royalty of nations." See the In- 
scriptions of Kings of Assyria, in Oppert, pp. 20. 34, 35. In 
p. 58 of these Inscriptions, Esarhaddon, sou of Sennacherib, 
says, " I reckoned among the servants of my realm ten kings 
of Syria, beyond the mountains, Balon, King of Tyre, Manas- 
Sfh, King of Judah, &c. ; and twelve kings of the sea-coast, 
altosjcther twenty-two kings of Syria." Cp. Dr. Fuseg on 
Daniel, p. 410. 

9. Is not Calno as Carchemish ?] Have I not conquered 
the former as easily as the latter ? On the site of Calno, or 
Calnch, see Gen. x. 10; and on Carchemish, on the Euphrates, 
see 2 Chron. xxxv. 20. 

— Hamath as Arpad] Has not Hamath, " the great " city 
in Syria (Num. xiii. 21 ; xxxiv. 8. Josh. xiii. 5. 2 Sam. viii. 9. 
Amos vi. 2. 1 Kings viii. 65. 2 Kings xiv. 28, where it is 
joined with Damascus), been reduced by me as easily as Arpad 
(probably a smaller town nearer to Assyria) ? See above, on 
2 Kings xviii. 34, and the following note here. 


— Is not Samaria as Damascus ?] Have I not taken Samaria, 
the capital of Israel, as easily as I have taken Damascus, the 
capital of Syria ? See 2 Kings xvii. 6. 

On these and other Assyrian conquests, see the Assyrian 
Inscriptions, published by Oppert, pp. 8. 21, where Calue is ■ 
mentioned (see v. 9) ; p. 22, where the conquest of Samaria by 
Sargon, King of Assyria, father of Sennacherib, is described 
(see above, on 2 Kings xviii. 9); p. 23, where Sargon says 
" laoubid of Hamath was not the lawful sovereign, and had 
usurped the throne thereof, and excited the cities of Arpad, 
and Semyra, and Damasciis, and Samaria to fight against me, 
and made himself ready. I mustered the troops of the god 
Assur, and besieged him in the city of KarTcar, which I 
reduced to ashes; I took him prisoner, and stripped him of 
his skin, and slew the chief rebels in each of those towns, and 
made them a desolation ; and I levied 200 chariots, and 300 
horsemen from the inhabitants of the i-egion of Hamath, and 
added them to the dignity of my majesty." In p. 34, he 
describes himself as having established his "viceroy at Car- 
chemish." Again, in p. 37, he says of himself, " Without 
mercy, and not brooking any violation of my orders, I tore up 
the root of the country of Hamath, and the King laoubid, and 
I tortured and flayed him as the trvmk of a tree, and I did not 
spare Carchemish." 

11. Jerusalem and her idols] Such was the language with 
which the idolatrous kings of Assyria spoke of Jerusalem and 
Jehovah ! It was a fitting punishment for such blasphemy, 
that Sennacherib, to whom this prophecy specially refers, was 
slain by the hands of his sons, when he was worshipping in the 
house of Nisroch, Ms god. See on 2 Kings xix. 37. 

12. When the Lord hath performed his tvhole worlc ttpon 
mount Zion] When the Lord has chastened Judah by the 
wholesome discipline of terror, and by allowing all its fenced 
cities to fall into the hand of Sennacherib (see below, vv. 28 — 32 ; 
and xxxvi. 1), and by reducing .lerusalem for a period of nearly 
three years (xxxvii. 30) to the very brink of destruction, and 
by bringing down its sovereign to the verge of the grave 
(xxxviii. 1), and by thus making them feel their own utter 
impotency, and by making them resort to the Lord for help 
in distress, then God will execute His vengeance on the pride 
and cruelty of the Assyrians, who have been used as His instru- 
mouts in chastening, but not destroying. His people. 

Assyria's pride and blasphemy. ISAIAH X. 14—21. Its fall, a warning to Judah. 



II Or, like many 


q Job SI. 25. 

r Jer. 51. 20. 

II Or, as if a rod 
should shake them 
that lift it up. 
jj Or, that which 
is 7iot wood. 

s ch. 5. 17. 

t ch. 9. IS. & 

27. 4. 

u 2 Kings 19. 2.3. 

t Heb./rom the 
soul, and even 
to the flesh. 

t Heb. number. 

And by my wisdom, for I am prudent : 

And I have removed the bounds of the people, 

And have robbed their treasures, 

And I have put down the inhabitants || hke a vahant man : 

And "^ my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people : 

And as one gathereth eggs that are left, 

Have I gathered all the earth ; 

And there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped. 
Shall ' the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith ? 

Or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it ? 

1 1 As if the rod should shake zYsc// against them that lift it up, 

Or as if the staff should lift up || itself, as if it ivere no wood. 
Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts. 

Send among his ' fat ones leanness ; 

And under his glory he shall kindle a burning 

Like the burning of a fire. 
^^ And the light of Israel shall be for a fire. 

And his Holy One for a flame : 

' And it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day ; 
^^ And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of " his fruitful field, 

f Both soul and body : 

And they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth. 
^^ And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be f few, 

That a child may write them. 





X See 2 Kings 

IG. 7. 

2 Chron. 28. 20. 

y ch. 7. 3. 

And it shall come to pass in that day, 
That the remnant of Israel, 
And such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, 
" Shall no more again stay upon him that smote them ; 
But shall stay upon the Lord, 
The Holy One of Israel, in truth. 
^' ^ The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, 

12. the fruit of the stout hearf] The pride. 

13. like a valiant man] Heb. ahbir, rendered by some here 
a bull, as the cketib has it (Ps. xxii. 13 ; Ixviii. 3). See below, 
xxxiv. 7. Ps. 1. 12; Ixviii. 30; and Jer. 1. 11, where it is so 
rendered. The bull, as the extant monuments of Nineveh 
show, was a symbol of the power which the Assyrian monarchs 
claimed for their gods. 

14. as a nest\ Cp. Sennacherib's words, " I shut up Hezekiah 
in Jerusalem like a bird in a cage." See on v. 28. 

— of the people^ Of the nations. 

— that — peeped^ Or,- chirped. See viii. 19; xxix. 4; 
xxxviii. 14, where the same word is used. For similar meta- 
phors employed to describe the vain-glorious presumption of 
Babylon, see Hab. i. 11. 15. 

15. As if the rod — no tvood'] Rather, as if the rod should 
shake those luho lift it up ; as if the staff should lift up what 
is not wood ! Cp. xxxi. 8. For this use of the negative, see 
Gesen. 425, i. e. should, being itself lifeless, agitate what is 
not lifeless, like wood, but a living power (cp. Vitringa, Delitzsch, 
and others) ; in a word, as if the instrument, instead of being 
moved by the agent, should presume to move the agent, and 
treat the agent as an jjistrument; as if man should arrogate 
to himself the attributes and very essence of the Godhead, and 
think to wield tliem as his weapons in his own hands for 
executing his own purposes ! 

16. among his fat ones^ The potentates of Assyria. 

— he shall kindle a burning'] The destruction of Senna- 
cherib's army is represented in this prophetic description, as 
to be executed by burning, here and in ver. 17 : and we shall 


see that there is reason for supposing that it was effected by 
a hot, scorching, pestilential wind in the valley of Hinnom, on 
the south side of Jerusalem. See on xxx. 33; and on xxxvii. 

17. in one day] Tliis was literally fulfilled in the sudden 
destruction of Sennacherib's army (2 Kings xix. 35), — a specimen 
and earnest of the utter extinction of all God's enemies in one 
day, the Great Day. Cp. 2 Thess. i. 7, 8. 

18. a standardbearer] Literally, a lifter-up. This is 
rendered a sick man by some (as Gesen., Fuerst, Delitzsch. 
Cp. Ps. Ixviii. 3 ; below, xix. 1), where the metaphor of melting 
away is used to describe the dissolution of a hostile force ; but 
the sense given in the text seems preferable. Cp. Zech. ix. 16, 
where the same verb is used. 

20. Shall no more again stay upon him that smote them] As 
Ahaz did upon Assyria (2 Kings xvi. 7. 2 Chron. xxviii. 20). 

— But shall stay upon the Lord] As the son of Ahaz, 
Hezekiah, did (2 Kings xix. 14 — 20), whose faith, and its 
blessed results, are set forth as an example of what will be seen 
in the Church of God even to the end. 

21. The remnant shall return] As some of Israel did to 
Hezekiah, when be invited them to the Pas.sover, 2 Chron. 
xxx. 1 — 13. See there, v. Q: " The Lord shall return to the 
remnant of you that are escaped out of the hand of the Kings 
of Assyria." 

This was further verified in the return of the remnant 
after the destruction of the fenced cities of Judah by Senna- 
cherib (cp. 2 Kings xix. 4. 31) ; and again, in the return of 
Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, after his imprisonment at 

Israel's return to God. 

ISAIAH X. 22—28. 

Sennacherib's invasion foretold. 

Unto the mighty God. 
22 '■ For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, 

" Yet a remnant f of them shall return : 

^ The consumption decreed shall overflow || with righteousness ; 
23 " For the Lord God of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, 

In the midst of all the land. 

Therefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, 

my people that dwellest in Zion, '' be not afraid of the Assyrian : 
He shall smite thee with a rod, 

1 And shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of ^ Egypt. 
For yet a very httle while, ^ and the indignation shall cease, 

And mine anger in their destruction. 
2^ And the Lord of hosts shall stir up '' a scourge for him 

According to the slaughter of ' Midian at the rock of Oreb : 

And " as his rod ivas upon the sea, 

So shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt. 
^'^ And it shall come to pass in that day, 

TJiat ' his burden f shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, 

And his yoke from off thy neck. 

And the yoke shall be destroyed because of 


25 f 

the anointing. 

He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron ; 

z Rom. 9. 27. 
a ch. (i. 13. 
t Heb. in, or, 
h ch. 28. 22. 
II Or, in. 
c cli. 2S. 22. 
Dan. y. 27. 
Rom. 9. 28. 

d ch. 37. 6. 

II Or, hut he shall 
lift up his staff 
for thee. 
e Exod. 14. 
f ch. 54. 7. 
gDan. 11.36. 

h2 Kings 19. 35. 

i Judg. 7. 25. 

ch. 9. 4. 

k Exod. 14. 26, 


Ich. 14. 25. 
t Heb. shall 

m Ps. 105. 15. 
Dan. 9. 24. 
1 John 2. 20. 

Babylon (2 Kings xxi. 14) ; and again, in the return of the 
remnant of Judah, after the Captivity of Babylon. Cp. 
Micah ii. 12. Haggai i. 12. Zech. viii. 6. 

But the prophecy extends much further, and was verified 
by the return of the faithful remnant of Israel to God in Christ 
and His Church, in the persons of A]X)stles and apostolic 
men, especially at Pentecost ; and it is fulfilled in Christian times 
ever since the Apostolic age. Whenever the remnant of Israel 
returns to the Mighty God, namely, to Christ, Who has been 
so named in the foregoing chapter, — then the meaning of the 
name of Isaiah's son Shear-jashub {a remnant shall return) 
will be seen in all its fulness. Cp. below, xxxvii. 31, 32. 

22. a remnanf] A i-emuant only. See on Rom. ix. 27. This 
prophecy was designed to guard against the objection that 
would be raised from the unbelief of the great body of the 
Jewish nation, which Isaiah foresees and deplores in chap. liii. : 
" Who hath believed our report ?" 

— The consumption decreed] Rather, a consumption of a 
grea tpart of the Jewish nation, and of the city itself (see 
Dent, xxviii. 65. Oesen. 400) is decreed, or decided. Cp. xxviii. 
22. Dan. ix. 26, 27 ; xi. 36, where the same verb is used. 

— overflow with righteousness'] That is, although the 
destruction, which is decided and decreed, will overtake the 
unbelieving city and people of Jerusalem and Israel, yet this 
judicial visitation will be tempered with love ; — it will overflow 
in righteousness ; it will swell forth and issue from Jerusalem 
(see on ii. 3 : " Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the 
word of the Lord upon Jerusalem "), like a noble river, and 
expand itself in a flood of righteousness, in the Universal Church 
of Christ, where God's righteousness, in punishing the un- 
believing and obstinate sinners, will be manifest, and also Sis 
righteousness, freely given to all who come to Him by faith 
in Christ, and accept the justification aflbrded to theiii thereby. 
See below, on Rom. iii. 21 — 21j ix. 28, where St. Paul adopts, 
for the most pjart, the reading of the Sept., as aflbrding 
a correct paraphrase of the original. Cp. Yitringa here, p. 

24. rod — staff] The Assyrian shall lift up his rod and 
staff against thee ; but since he himself is a rod and staft" in 
My hand (see v. 5 ; and v. 4), therefore thou, who art My 
•people, needcst not be afraid of him ; for all his acts will bo 
after the manner of Egypt, that is, his rage against Me shall 
redound to his own destruction, and to My glory, and to thy 
deliverance, as Pharaoh's did. See above, on Exod. ix. 16 ; and 
below, Ii. 9, 10. Rom. ix. 17. 

26. the slaughter of Midian] By Gideon, already men- 

tioned in the foregoing chapter (ix. 4). Cp. on Jud"-. 
vii. 25. ° 

27. beca^tse of the anointing] The foes of God's Chui-ch are 
destroyed, and she is delivered, because of the holy unction, 
with which David My servant was anointed (see Ps. Ixxxix. 
20—22), to whom I promised a perpetual kingdom in Jesus 
Christ, Messiah the King, the Anointed One of God (Ps. xlv. 7 ; 
cv. 15. Luke iv. 18. 2 Cor. i. 21; and see 2 Sara, vii., Prelim'. 
Note). Since this divine Unction flowed down from God on the 
royal seed of David in Christ, that seed is indestructible, and 
will eventually triumph over all its enemies. Cp. xi. 2 • xl 7 • 
Ixi. 1. Zech. iv. 6. 

Other interpretations of these words may bc seen in Poole's 
Synopsis, Delifzsch here; Gesen. 257. 435. 

Literally rendered, the words mean, the yoJce shall bb 
destroyed from the face (or, j'resence) of oil ; that is, by 
reason of it. There is a paradox here. The leathern yoke ot 
an animal is generally made supple by oil, and is preserved by 
it ; but in the economy of God's grace, the oil is what destroys 
the yoke. The yoke of God's anointed ones is not preserved 
by oil, but destroyed, by the oil of His Spirit. It is said t/x 
Saul that his shield was not anointed with oil, and therefore 
was vilely cast away (2 Sam. i. 21). Shields of leather were 
usually anointed (see below, xxi. 5); but Saul's shield did not 
partake of the true anointing, because of his sin, and was 
therefore cast away. See 8ep>t., Vulg., and Targum, whicli 
well paraphrases the words thus : " The nations shall be bruised 
fi-oni the face of the Messiah " (the Christ, Anointed of God). 
This prophecy was verified primarily in Hezekiah, who was a 
signal type of Christ (see on 2 Kings xix. 30; xx. 5. 11. 21); 
but it has its complete fulfilment in Hezekiah's descendant and 
Antitype, Christ Himself. Cp. Vitringa, p. 289. 

Peophetic Vision of the Invasion of Judah bt 
Sennacherib ; and of his final Discomfiture. 
. 28 — 32. He is come to Aiath] The prophet, with an eye 
illumined by the Holy Spirit, sees Sennacherib and his mighty 
host approaching Jerusalem from the north-cast; he beholds 
him at Aiath, probably Ai, to the east of Bethel, about ten 
miles north of Jerusalem (see Gen. xii. 8. Josh. viii. 24), then 
at Migron, which signifies a precipice, and is placed by Po- 
binson at Makrun, a httle to the S.E. of Bethel. It is supposed 
by some that Migron is mentioned by Sennacherib himself, 
under the name of Amgarron, in the record of his campaign in 
Palestine (see Oppert, Inscr. Assyr., pp. 40. 44), where it is 
described as near Jerusalem, and where Padi, the King of 

His invasion — and ovcrtliroio . ISAIAH X. 29 — 34. XI. 1. The rise and glory of Christ. 





n 1 Sam. 13. 23. 

o 1 Sam. 11.4. 

+ Heb. Cry shrill 
with thy voice. 
p 1 Sam. 25.44. 
q Judg. IS. 7. 
r Josh. 21. IS. 
s Josh. 15. 31. 

1 Sam. 21. 1. 
& 22. 19. 
Neh. 11. 32. 
u ch. 13. 2. 
X ch. 37, 22. 

y See Amos 2. P. 

Q Or, miijldily. 

At Michmash he hath laid up his carriages : 

They are gone over " the passage : 

They have taken up their lodging at Geba ; 

Ramah is afraid ; 

° Gibeah of Saul is fled. 

f Lift up thy voice, daughter ^ of Gallim : 

Cause it to be heard unto '^ Laish, ' poor Anathoth. 

' Madmenah is removed ; 

The inhabitants of Gebim gather themselves to flee. 

As yet shall he remain * at Nob that day : 

He shall " shake his hand against the mount of " the daughter of Zion, 

The hill of Jerusalem. 

Behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, 
Shall lop the bough with terror : 
And ^' the high ones of stature shall he hewn down, 
And the haughty shall be humbled. 
2^ And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, 
And Lebanon shall fall || by a mighty one. 






ach. 53. 2. 

Zech. C. 12. 

Rev. 5.5. 

b Acts 13. 23. ver. 10. 

XI. ^ And Hhere shall come forth a rod out of the stem of ''Jesse, 

Migron, who was favourable to Sennacherib, is stated to have 
been delivered up by some of his subjects to Hezekiah, from 
whom Sennacherib freed him, and reinstated him on the throne. 

From Migron, Sennacherib is described as passing to 
Miehmasli, about eight miles north of Jerusalem (see on 
1 Sam. xiii. 2 — 16; xiv. 5), where he Jays up his carriages, 
1. e. deposits his baggage, in expectation of a speedy victory 
over Jerusalem (Kimchi) ; thence they went across the passage 
or ravine of Wady Suweinit, and so approached Geba, Ramah, 
and Gibeah (see 1 Sara. xiii. 2, 3. Josh, xviii. 21 — 28), and 
thence by Gallim and Laish (see Judg. xviii. 29. 1 Sam. 
XXV. 44) to Anathoth (now Anata), a priestly city, about four 
miles N.N.E. of Jerusalem (1 Kings ii. 26. Jer. i. 1), and 
thence by Madmenah, which is removed, or flies away in fear; 
and Gebim, whose people hastily betake themselves and theirs 
away to a place of safety ; and, finally, he halts at Nob, where 
he had a view of Jerusalem, aiad thence ho shook his hand 
against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of 
Jerusalem, to terrify it. On the site of Nob, see on 1 Sam. 
xxi. 1. Neh. xi. 32, and S. Jerome hei-e ; and Robinson, ii. 149, 
who supposes it to have been on the ridge of the Mount of 
Olives, north-east of Jerusalem. Cp. Sacheit, B. D. ii. 576. 

Observe the contrast to this phrase in the words of the 
Lord by Isaiah to Sennacherib (xxxvii. 22, 23) : " The Virgin, 
the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee, and laughed thee to 
scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee. 
Whom hast tjiou reproached and blasphemed ? and against 
Whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on 
high ? even against the Holy One of Israel." 

The preceding portion of this prophecy was fulfilled, when 
" Sennacherib, King of Assyria, came up against all the fenced 
cities of Judah, and took them." See 2 Kings xviii. 13 ; 
below, xxxvi. 1. In a record still extant, written by himself, 
Sennacherib affirms, " that he took forty-six cities of Judah, 
and numerous smaller towns, and shut up Hezekiah in Jerusalem 
like a bird in a cage." See the document quoted above, in 
the note on 2 Chron. xxxii. 1. 

It may be asked. Why Sennacherib did not then assault 
Jerusalem itself? The reasons probably were: — 

(1) Because he was eager to proceed southward toward 
Egypt, which was the special aim of his campaigu. 

(2) Because Hezekiah had fortified Jerusalem (2 Chron. 
xxxii. 2 — 8) ; and Sennacherib, hastening toward other prey, 
would not spend his time in endeavouring to take it. 

(3) Because Hezekiah submitted to him, and gave him 
a large sum of monej' to propitiate him. See above, 2 Kings 
xviii. 14 — 16 ; and Sennacherib's own assertion to the same 
efi'ect, quoted above, on 2 Chron. xxxii. 1. 


The following portion of this prophecy {vv. 33, 34) was 
fulfilled about four years afterwards, when Sennacherib had 
returned in triumph from his expedition against Philistia, 
Egypt, and Ethiopia; and his vast host was consumed near 
Jerusalem by the wrath of God, Whom he had blaspliemed. See 
below, xxxvii. 36 ; and above, on 2 Kings xix. 32 — 35. 

33, 34. Behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, shall lop the 
bough — the thickets of the forest — and Lebanon shall falV\ 
This prophecy of the destruction of Sennacherib's army (cp. 
vv. 18, 19, wliere the same figure is used), as of a forest of 
cedars of Lebanon (cp. Ezek. xxxi. 3 — 8, where the Assyrian 
is compared to a cedar in Lebanon), stands in striking contrast 
to the boastful words of Sennacherib himself by his messengers . 
" With the multitude of my chariots I am come up to the 
height of the mountains, to the sides oi Lebanon, and will cut 
down the tall cedars thereof, and the choice fir-trees thereof" 
(2 Kings xi.\'. 23). But "jETe (the Lord) shall cut down his 
thiclcets ; and Lebanon (the type of heathen powers, xxix. 17) 
shaUfall by a Mighty One ; the God of Israel." 

Observe, also, the contrast in what now follows. 

The Rod out of the Stem of Jesse. 

Cn. XI. 1. And there shall come forth a rod out of tlie stem 
of Jesse'\ Or, But there shall come forth a rod (a sprout or 
stjckee) out of the heion stump of Jesse (cp. Job xiv. 8, and 
belovv, xl. 24, where the same word is used ; and Vitringa here, 
p. 303 ; and Oesen. 166 ; and Pusey on Daniel, p. 484) ; and a 
BRANCH (netser — whence Natsareth, the place where our Lord 
grew up ; see below, on Matt. ii. 23 ; and Vitringa here, p. 309 ; 
and Sengst., Christol. 107 — 109) from its roots shall bear 
fruit ; and cp. Rev. v. 5, and xxii. 16, where our Lord Himself 
appears to refer to this prophecy. 

Remark the sublime contrast in this prophecy and the 
foregoing. The mighty and haughty worldly Power of Assyria 
— the type of Impiety and Antichristianism— will be hewn 
down, like a great forest, in the pride of its strength and glory 
(see the end of the preceding chapter), never to rise again ; but 
the spirit of prophecy here reveals, that when the house of 
David seemed like a tree hewn down to a stump in the earth, 
then a Sucker would spring up from the stump, and a Branch 
shooting forth from its roots would bear fruit and overshadow 
the Earth. 

And so it came to pass. At a time when the house of David 
seemed to be reduced to the lowest estate, — when Bethlehem, 
" the city of David," had almost lost its name, which had been 
transferred to Jerusalem, — when the Virgin of the house of David, 

Christ's sevenfold spiritual gifts, ISAIAH XI. 2 — 8. 

The fruits of His preaching. 


a Branch shall grow out of his roots : 

2 '^ And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, 

The spirit of wisdom and understanding, 

The spirit of counsel and might. 

The spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord ; 
2 And shall make him of f quick understanding in the fear of the Lord : 

And he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, 

Neither reprove after the hearing of his ears : 
^ But ^ with righteousness shall he judge the poor, 

And II reprove with equity for the meek of the earth : 

And he shall ^ smite the earth with the rod of his mouth. 

And with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. 
^ And ^ righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins. 

And faithfulness the girdle of his reins. 
*" ^ The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb. 

And the leopard shall lie down with the kid ; 

And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together ; 

And a little child shall lead them. 
7 And the cow and the bear shall feed ; 

Their young ones shall lie down together : 

And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 
^ And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp. 

And the weaned child shall put his hand on the || cockatrice' den. 

c ch. 4. 2. 
Jer. 23. 5. 
dch. 61. 1. 
Matt. 3. 16. 
John 1. 32, 33. 
& 3. 84. 

tHeb. scent, ax 

e Ps. 72. 2, 4. 
Rev. 19. II. 

tl Or, argue, 

f Job 4. 9. 
Mai. 4. 6. 
2 Thess. 2. 8. 
Rev. 1. 16. & 
2. 16. & 19. 15. 
gSeeEph. 6. 14. 

h ch. 65. 25. 
Ezek. 34. 25. 
Hos. 2. 18. 

Or, adder's. 

pre-announced in vii. 14, was a poor maiden in a village of 
despised Galilee, then by God's miraculous agency the Branch 
sprouted up from the hewn-down stump ("as a root out of 
the dry ground," liii. 2), and grew up into a mighty Tree, and 
brought forth much fruit, and received the world under its 

Such, in brief, is the prophetic view of the power of Christ 
on the one side, and of that of Antichrist on the other. When 
the latter seems to be dominant, then it will be destroyed j 
when the former seems to be destroyed, then its dominion will 
be established for ever. 

The Unction and Office of Cheist; the Feitits of 
His Mission. 

2. the spirit of the Loed] The Spirit of the Lord, by 
Whose operation Christ was conceived at Nazareth (Luke i. 35), 
and by Whom He was anointed at His Baptism in Jordan 
(Matt. iii. 16. John i. 32. Acts x. 38), shall rest on Hira as in 
a loved abode, as in a nest for the Divine Dove ; cp. 1 Pet. iv. 
14, where the Spirit is said to rest on Christ's members. See 
especially below, Ixi. 1, " The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, 
because the Lord hath anointed Me," — the prophecy appro- 
priated by our Lord Himself at Nazareth, where He, the pro- 
mised Netser, or Branch, from the root of David, grew up (see 
Luke iv. 16-21, and on Matt. ii. 23). The gifts of the Spirit 
were the dew and rain which watered the Branch, and made 
Him spring up, and bear fruit. 

The sevenfold gifts of the Spirit are grounded on thejTear 
of the Lord, which is like the base and shaft of the Golden 
Candlestick ; and from it the three branches on each side 
shot forth and gave light. Compare Zech. iv. 2. Rev. i. 4; 
iv. 5 ; V. 6 (Delitzsch). 

3. And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear 
of the Lord'] Rather, and his delight is in the fear of the 
Lord. Literally, His sense of smelling what is sweet, is there. 
God is said to have " smelt a sweet savour," or fragrance, in 
the acceptable sacrifice of the patriarch Noah after the Flood 
(see above, on Gen. viii. 21, contrasted with Amos v. 21 ; in 
both which places the same verb ruach is used in hiphil, as 
here ; and cp. Exod. xxx. 38. Lev. xxvi. 31. Gesen. 760, and 
the similar figure in Job's war-horse, who rejoices in the scent 
of the battle (Job xxxix. 25 ; and Vitringa, p. 314 ; and 
Hengst., Christol. 116). So God is said, in the New Testa- 
ment, to perceive a sweet perfume in the perfect obedience 

Vol. V. Paex I.— 3B. 

of Christ (see Eplies. v. 2). And Christ Himself is here said 
by a beautiful figure, to find the sweetest perfume, and what 
is most pleasant to His own spiritual sense, in the fear of the 
Lord, that is, in obedience to His heavenly Father. His meat and 
drink was to do His will (John iv. 32. 34) ; His eye was directed 
to His glory ; His ear was attentive to His least command (see 
Ps. xl. 6 — 8) ; His scent rejoiced in the perception of God's will, 
as in the aroma of the sweetest perfume ; and wherever He 
perceived holy obedience, there He found delight. 
Here is a perfect pattern for the Christian. 

— he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes'] Even He 
Who knew all men (John ii. 24) is here said to judge not 
according to external sense, but according to inward percep- 
tion, as God Himself is said not to be content with observing 
Sodom from heaven, but to go down and know (see Gen. xviii. 
21 ; cp. 1 Sam. xvi. 7, and John vii. 24). Christ, the Judge 
of all, will have no respect of persons in judging ; He will not 
look to external qualities of worldly wealth, honour, glory, 
fame, station — as men are too prone to do — but He wiL 
examine the heart and pronounce His judicial sentence accord- 
ingly. Cp. Heb. iv. 12, 13 ; and Bp. Sanderson, i. 279. 

4. And he shall smite the earth] Christ is represented as 
invested with awful Majesty and Might, as a King and Judge, 
executing vengeance on the earth ; that is, on all earthly 
powers opposed to the kingdom of heaven (see on Matt. xxiv. 
30. Rev. i. 7); who will be shattered by Him like earthen 
vessels by a rod of iron. See Ps. ii. 9. Rev. i. 16. 

— And with the breath of his lips shall he slay the leieked] 
Such is His Majesty and Might, that a single breath of His 
lips is enough to slay the wicked one. This prophecy is applied 
by St. Paul to the destruction of the man of sin, the lawless 
one, described in 2 Thess. ii. 3—12. See there, v. 8. 

The Peeaching of the Gospel. 

6—9.] After the description of Christ's judicial majesty and 
punitive power, a beautiful prophetic picture now succeeds 
of the peace and joy of His kingdom set up in the hearts of all 
who believe and obey Him. 

— The wolf also shall dwell with the lamh — cockatrice' den] 
The last words are rendered by the Targum " the pupil of the 
eye of the basilisk ;" but the translation in the text has most 
authority {Sept., Vulg., Syr., Arabic, Oesen. 444. 716). 

It has been made a question, whether this and other similar 
prophecies Tsee ii. 4; xxxv. 9j Ix. 18; Jxv. 17. 25) have been 

The root of Jesse is a banner 

ISAIAH XI. 9—12. 

The return of the remnant. 

i Job 5.23. 
ch. 2. 4. & 35. 9. 
k Hab. 2. 14. 
Ich. 2. II. 
m ver. 1. 
Rom. 15. 12. 

n Rom. 15. 10. 

o Heb. 4. 1, &c. 
t Heb. glory. 

pch 2. 11. 

q Zech. 10. 10. 

I John 7. 35. 
James I. 1. 

t Heb. wings. 

^ ' They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain : 
For ^ the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, 
As the waters cover the sea. 

^^ ' And in that day '" there shall be a root of Jesse, 
Which shall stand for an ensign of the people ; 
To it shall the " Gentiles seek : 
And ° his rest shall be f glorious. 

^' And it shall come to pass ""in that day. 

That the Lord shall set his hand again the second time 
To recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, 
'^ From Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, 
And from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, 
And from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 
And he shall set up an ensign for the nations. 
And shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, 
And gather together ' the dispersed of Judah 
From the four f corners of the earth. 


fulfilled, or are in course of fulfilment; and whether they 
authorize the expectation of a time of perfect peace upon earth. 

The Apostles (as St. Paul, Rom. x. 18. Heb. viii. 9 — 11) 
appear to regard them as in a great measure fulfilled by the 
wonderful moral and spiritual change wrought by the preaching 
of the Gospel, and the power of the Holy Ghost,— the Spirit of 
love and peace, even in their own days. And such was the 
uniform opinion of ancient Expositors (as Origen, Eusehius, 
S. Chrysostom, S. Jerome, S. Cyril, Theodoret, and others ; 
see above, on ii. 4, and Cornelius A Lapide, and Vitringa 
here). They declared their judgment that these predictions 
have been verified by the moral and spiritual change wrought 
in savage nations, which formerly were like lions, leopards, 
hears, and wolves; and by the bringing together of hostile 
tribes to dwell together in peace in the Church of Christ ; as 
the savage and tame creatures, the unclean and clean animals, 
dwelt together in the Ark of Noah, the type of the Church ; 
see above, Prelim. Note to Gen. vi., p. 37. 

Christ explained the prophecy, " The wolf shall dwell with 
the lamb " (v. 6), when He said to His Apostles, " I send you 
forth as lambs among wolves" (Luke x. 3). 

The metaphor of the asp and the cockatrice is adopted by 
our Lord Himself, where He says to His disciples, who were 
despised as children by the wise of this world (Matt. xi. 25 ; 
xviii. 4), that He would give them power to tread on serpents 
and scorpions, and on all the power of the enemy (Luke x. 19 ; 
cp. Mark xvi. 17, 18). 

It must also be borne in mind, that our Blessed Lord and 
His Apostles describe the condition of the last days of the 
world as characterized by great moral corruption, and by 
malignity, violence, and carnage, very unlike what is depicted 
here. They represent the last days as very like the last days 
of the old World before the Flood (Matt. xxiv. 37, 38. Luke 
xvii. 26); arid like the last days of Sodom and Gomorrah 
(Luke xvii. 28—32); and like the last days of Jerusalem 
(see below, on Matt. xxiv. 1—34, and cp. on Rev. xx. 1—7). 

9. in all m.y holy mountain^ " The mountain of the Lord's 
House," the Christian Church, whose origin was at Zion ; see 
ii. 2. Micah iv. 2. WJjerever Christianity is truly professed 
and practised, there hatred and violence shall cease ; but this 
does not involve a promise that they shall not prevail else- 
where. Christ has done His part by dying for all, and by 
commanding that the Gospel should be preached to all. But 
men fail. See further below, on Ixv. 17—25 ; Ixvi. 7—9. 

— the earth shall be full of the knoioledge of the Loed] 
This prophecy is explained by our Lord's words, " This Gospel 
of the kingdom shall be preached in all the ivorld for a luitness 
vnto all nations ; and then shall the End come." He does not say 
that the Gospel will be universally believed ,- but that it wiU 
be preached as a witness, to testify against those who reject it • 
see below, on Matt. xxiv. 14. The Prophet says that the Earth 
will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord (cp. Hab. ii. 14) • 
but he does not say that all who know will obey Him. ' * ' 

— As the waters cover the sea'] The bottom of the sea. 


The Conteesion of the Gentiles, v. 10, and of God's 
People, the Jews; the Rettjen of the Remnant. 

10. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse] Rather 
And it shall come to pass in that day, the root of Jesse shall 
be that which will stand as a banner. The root sprouts up in 
Christ (see llii. 2), and it becomes like a lofty banner, a Jehovah- 
Nissi (see Exod. xvii. 15), to which the nations will flock, as 
armies to the standard of their General and King. As our 
Lord says, " I, if I be lifted tip from the earth, will draw all 
men unto Me" (John xii. 32). The Cross was the banner 
lifted up, to which all Nations were to come, as armies to a 
muster (see v. 12) : and Ms rest shall be glorious ; or rather. 
His resting-place (wherever the banner — the banner of the 
Cross — is fixed, to which all nations resort) shall be glory ; 
the whole Church will be like a Holy of Holies, in which the 
Shechinah of the Godhead is enthroned. 

Observe the phrase, " in that day," repeated in v. 11 ; 
xii. 1. 4. The times of the Gospel are regarded as one day. 
Cp. Zech. ii. 11 ; ix. 16. 2 Pet. iii. 8. 

11. And it shall come to pass — sea] This prophecy began 
to be fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, when " Jews, devout 
men out of every nation under heaven," who had come up to 
Jerusalem to the Feast, were evangelized by St. Peter and the 
other Apostles, filled with the Holy Ghost, and were received 
by Baptism into Christ's Church, and so returned home to 
God in Christ, the Mighty Ood. See x. 20, 21, and <S. Jerome. 

This beginning of the fulfilment of the prophecy is marked 
by the names of the nations from which they came, as enume- 
rated in the history of that great return of Israel, in the Acts 
of the Apostles (see below, on Acts ii. 8), which corresponds 
nearly to their names here. Assyria, the great worldly enemy 
of Judah, is placed first ; then Pathros, Upper Egypt ; Cush, 
Ethiopia ; Elam, Elymais, in Southern Media ; Shinar, the 
land on the Euphrates and Tigris ; Hamath, in Syi-ia, at the 
northern foot of Lebanon ; the islands of the sea (see Gen. 
X. 5) ; Italy, Greece, and other lands on the coast of the Medi- 
terranean, and in the far west. 

The Church has shown her sense of that fulfilment by 
appointing the present chapter of Isaiah to be read, with 
that second chapter of the Acts, on Whitsunday. Compare 
St. Peter's words to the dispersed of Israel in his first Epistle, 
where he evidently regards the conversion of the Jews to 
Christianity, and their reception as God's peculiar people into 
Christ's Church (with a hope of passing from it to the eternal 
inheritance of the heavenly Canaan), as their return to their 
home ; see Introd. to that Epistle, pp. 37 — 40 ; and on 1 Pet. i. 
1. 4 ; ii. 9. 25, " Ye loere like sheep going astray, but are now 
returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls." 

St. John confirms this spiritual interpretation of these pro- 
phecies when he speaks of Christ as not only dying for the 
nation (of the Jews), but as gathering together into one the 
children of God that were scattered abroad (John xi. 52). 

12. he shall set up an ensign] He will lift up the banner of 
the Cross, and muster all nations to it {S. Jerome). 

Conquests of Christ. ISAIAH XI. 13—16. XII. 1, 2. The Church's song of victory. 

^2 ' The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, 

And the adversaries of Jiidah shall be cut off : 

Ephraim shall not envy Judah, 

And Judah shall not vex Ephraim. 
^^ But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west ; 

They shall spoil f them of the east together : 

' f They shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab ; 

f And the children of Amnion " shall obey them. 
^^ And the Lord "" shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea ; 

And with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, 

And shall smite it in the seven streams, 

^ And make men go over f dryshod. 
^^ And ^ there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people. 

Which shall be left, from Assyria ; 

^ Like as it was to Israel 

In the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt. 

XII. ' And * in that day thou shalt say, 

Lord, I will praise thee : 

Though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away. 
And thou comfortedst me. 
2 Behold, God is my salvation ; 

1 will trust, and not be afraid : 

For the Lord ^ JEHOVAH is my "^ strength and my song ; 


s Jer. 3. 18. 
Ezek. 37. 10, 17, 
Hos. I. 11. 

+ Heb. the 
children of the 

t Dan. II. 41. 
f Heb. Edom 
and Moab shall 
be the laying un 
(if their hand, 
i Heb. the 
children of 
Amman their 
11 ch. 60. 14. 
X Zech. 10. 11. 
y Rev. 16. 12. 
t Heb. in shoes. 
z ch. 19. 23. 

a Exod. 14. 29. 
ch. .SI. 10. fe 
03. 12, 13. 

ach. 2. 11. 

b Ps. 83. 18. 
c Exod. 15. 2. 
Ps, 118. 14. 

13. The envy also of Ephraim shall depart^ This was one 
of the happy effects of the Assyrian and Chaldsean Captivities ; 
they put an end to the rivah'y between the two kingdoms of 
Israel and Judah. Thenceforth Jerusalem became the common 
centre of all j and when Jerusalem was afterwards destroyed 
by the Romans, another benefit thence arose; the common 
home of all Israel is in the Catholic Church of Christ, which had 
its origin in Jerusalem, from which city it went forth to colonize 
and Christianize the world. See above, the Introduction to 
Kings and Chronicles, pp. xiii — xv, and Introduction to Ezra 
and Nehemiah, pp. 298, 299. 

In the Apostolic company, there were Galileans of Ephraim, 
such as St. Peter and St. John, united with men of Judah, 
such as our Lord's brethren, St. James and St. Jude. 

14. they shall fly vpon the shoulders'\ They shall attach the 
shoulder of the Philistines. The land of Philistia is compared 
to a shoulder ; a comparison applied also to sides and other 
parts of countries, and also of the sea and of buildings. See 
Numb, xxxiv. 11. Deut. xxxiii. 12. Josh. xv. 8. 10, 11. 1 Kings 
vi. 8. Cp. Ital. casta, Fr. cote. 

The sense is, that the Hebrew preachers of the Gospel will 
fly from Jerusalem with eager activity upon Philistia to convert 
it, as an eagle pounces upon the shoulder of a sheep or other 
animal its prey (see Oesen. 420). This prophecy began to be 
fulfilled in Apostolic times by the missionary labours of St. 
Philip in Philistia, on the way to Giiza and Ashdod, Acts viii. 
26—40; and of St. Peter at Lydda, and Saron, and Joppa, 
Acts ix. 32—43. 

— They shall spoil} On these metaphors, derived from 
military prowess, and applied to the peaceful conquests of the 
Gospel, see above, on Gen. xlix. 27, applied to St. Paul; and 
note above, on Ps. cxlix. 5 — 9. 

— Edom — Moab — Ammon'\ Edom, the descendants of 
Esau, and Moab and Ammon, descendants of Lot, represent 
those who were allied by blood with Israel, but were enemies of 
the people of God. They will be brought under the yoke of the 
Cross by the Hebrew preachers of the Gospel, the Apostles and 
Evangelists, and also by the diffusion of their writings. 

15. the LoED shall utterly destroy the tongue of the 
Egyptian, sea} Here is a bold metaphor derived from the 
parting asunder of the Red Sea to make a way for Israel from 
Egypt. The Lord shall not only part asunder once, but will 
altogether destroy ; literally, tvill devote to utter destruction 


the tongue (cp. Josh. xv. 2 with Numb, xxxiv. 3) of the Egyptian 
sea, the Red Sea ; He will annihilate every thing that restrains 
His people as captives; and ivith His mighty wind, or rather, 
toith the might of His Spirit, He will shake (not the rod of 
Moses, but) His own Almighty Hand over the river (the 
Euphrates ; see the Targum, and cp. vii. 20 ; viii. 7. Gen. xv. 18 ; 
xxxi. 21. Hengst., Del.), and shall smite it into seven (not " the 
seven") streams (i. e. shall do more than Cyrus did (Jer. li. 36), 
who drew it ofi' to make it a dry bed for his soldiers to enter 
into Babylon), and make men ivalk in it in shoes, — i. e. 
with their "feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of 
peace " (Eph. vi. 15). 

Here is a prophecy of the victory which will be achieved 
by the Gospel over all the opposing powers of this world. This 
triumph is symbolized by the drying up of the sea and river of 
the two great earthly Empires of Isaiah's days, Egypt and 
Assyria (cp. viii. 7 ; xix. 5. Jer. li. 36). Compare the figura- 
tive language of the Apocalypse on the drying up of the 
Euphrates, " that the way of the kings of the east might be 
prepared " (Rev. xvi. 12 ; see the note there, and Vitringa here, 
p. 367). That passage is the best commentary on the present ; 
and the result of this universal subjection is pre-announced also 
by the Apocalypse, — " The kingdom of this world will become 
the kingdom of the Lord and of His Christ" (Rev. xi. 15), 

16. there shall he an hightoay} As it was in the Exodus 
from Egypt, when the Red Sea was divided ; and as it was on 
the return of Judah from Babylon after the waters of the 
Euphrates had been dried up, so it will be in the days of Christ 
and the Gospel. All the Red Seas of spiritual Egypts (cp. 
Rev. xi. 8), all the rivers of spiritual Assyrias, will own His 
power, and be made subservient to the manifestation of His 
glory and of His truth and the good of His Church. And 
then, as Moses and Miriam sang songs of victory after the 
overthrow of the Egyptians and their own deliverance, as the 
returning exiles sang " songs of Sion " (see above, on Ps. cxx.) 
after the fall of Babylon for their own restoration, so the 
Church of the Redeemed will sing a SoN& of Victory and 
Praise, which now follows. 

The Chuech'3 Song of Pkaise fob hee Redemption 
BY Cheist. 

Ch. XII. 2. Behold, Ood is my salvation — my strength and 
my song ; ft^e also is become my salvation} We have here an 
"F 2 

The joij of the faithful. ISAIAH XII. 3—6. XIII. 1 . The doom ofivorldly Powers, 





A John 4. 10, 14. 

& 7. S7, 38. 

e 1 Chron. 16. 8. 

Ps. 105. 1. 

II Or, proclaim 

his name. 

f Ps. 145. 4, 5, 6. 

g Ps. 34. 3. 

h Exod. 15. 1,21 
Ps 68. 32. & 
98. 1. 

ich. 54. 1. 
Zeph. 3. 14. 
t Heb. in/iabi- 

k Ps. 71. 22. 
& 89. 18. 
ch. 41. 14, 16. 
ach. 21. 1. &47. 

He also is become my salvation. 
2 Therefore with joy shall ye draw ^ water out of the wells of salvation. 
^ And in that day shall ye say, 

^ Praise the Lord, I| call upon his name, 

^Declare his doings among the people, 

Make mention that his ^ name is exalted. 
^ " Sing unto the Loed ; for he hath done excellent things : 

This is known in all the earth. 
^ ' Cry out and shout, thou f inhabitant of Zion : 

For great is ^ the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee. 

XIII. ^ The " burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see. 

1. Jer. 50, SsSl. 

echo of the Song of Moses at the Exodus : " The Lord is my 
strength and song, and He is become my salvation" (Exod. 
XV. 2), and that Song of Moses is taken up in Ps. cxviii. 14, 
sung by the exiles who had returned from Babylon, at the gates 
of the Temple rebuilt. See Prelim. Note to Ps. cxviii. 

Thus the three deliverances of God's people,— that from 
Egypt, from Babylon, and from their spiritual captivity, by 
Cheist in the Gospel, are united together here. The 118th 
Psalm was applied by Christ to Himself at His triumphant 
entry into Jerusalem on Palm -Sunday. See the notes there. 

— the liOnj) JEH0VAE:'\ Jehovah Jah; on the solemn 
character of this union of Names, see below, xxvi. 4. 
The itniteesal Feast oe Tabeenacies. 

3. Therefore with joy shall ye draw toater out of the wells 
of salvation] At the Feast of Tabernacles, prefiguring the Son 
of God tabernacling in our flesh (see John i. 14, and notes on 
1 Kings viii. 65; and Ezra iii. 4. Neh. viii. 16), Water was 
drawn from the Pool of Siloam, also a type of Christ (see John 
ix. 7 ; and above, viii. 6), and was poured on the great altar in 
the' Temple (see below, on John vii. 37), on which burnt-offer- 
ings (the figures of Christ's perfect sacrifice of Himself) were 
ofiered. In like manner, now that Christ is come in our flesh. 
Who sums up all these types in Himself, we draw water with 
joy out of the wells of salvation. 

At the Feast of Tabernacles, the 118th Psalm was sung ; 
this has just been referred to, as having been applied by 
Christ to Himself when He was riding into Jerusalem, and the 
hosannas of the Feast of Tabernacles were addressed to Him by 
the multitude. Then He rode to Jerusalem on the foal of 
an ass, the type of the Gentile world subdued to the Gospel 
and brought to the city of God ; and the foal was followed by 
its mother, the figure of the Jewish Nation. See below, notes on 
Matt. xxi. 1 — 9. 

5. Sing unto the Lord ; for he hath done excellent things'] 
another echo of the Song of Moses (Exod. xv. 1—21). 

6. Cry out and shout] " Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion ; 
shout, O daughter of Jerusalem : behold, thy King cometb 
unto thee : he is just, and having salvation ; lowly, and riding 
upon an ass, even upon a colt the foal of an ass" (Zech. ix. 9). 

The scenery of the Exodus from Egypt, and of the Return 
of Israel from Babylon, and of the Great Feast of Tabernacles, 
and of the Triumphal Entry of Christ into Jerusalem, and 
of the union of Gentile and Jew in serving Him in His Church, 
is blended in this song ; and it prepares us for the song of the 
Church of the redeemed and glorified saints in heaven, where 
they will sing " the Song of Moses and of the Lamb " (Rev. 
XV. 3), and where " He that sitteth upon the throne shall 
tabernacle upon them; and the Lamb shall feed them, and 
shall lead them unto living fountains of waters" (Rev. vii. 15 — 
17 ; cp. xxi. 6 ; xxii. 17) ; and the voice will be heard, " Be- 
hold, the Tabernacle of God is with men, and He will taber- 
nacle on them, and they shall be His people" (Rev. xxi. 3). 
The Prophet Zechariah says, that the joy of the " Feast of 
Tabernacles" will be perpetuated in Christ's Church. See 
Zech. xiv. 16 — 19. This is what is pre-announced here, and is 
fully revealed in the Apocalypse. 

Peophecies on the Destinies of the Kingdoms of 

this woeld. 
Oh. XIII.] Here begins the Third Part of the first Portion of 
Isaiah's prophecies ; it extends to the end of chapter xxvii. 

In the foregoing part, the voice of prophecy had re- 
vealed the Judgments of God on His own People Israel and 

Judah for their sins. But it had comforted them also with 
the assurance that His judicial visitations would be tempered 
with mercy, and would be made ministerial to the clearer 
manifestation of the glory of the Lord God of Israel, and to 
the final overthrow of His enemies, and to the spiritual edification 
of all who turn to Him with fi\ith and repentance. 

It had revealed a glorious vision of the future. In Christ, 
" the Mighty God," " Immanuel," David's promised Seed 
(Who would appear in the world when the house of David was 
reduced to the lowest condition, like that of a tree hewn down 
to the roots), the throne of David would be exalted over all 
earthly sovereignties ; His sway would be extended over all 
the earth, and all the faithful of Israel would be united with 
all the faithful of all Nations in one common home, the Church 
Militant, and would rejoice and sing praises to God for ever 
in the Church glorified hereafter. 

The other side of the picture is now displayed. 

Isaiah the prophet, and his two sons, were signs of the 
future (1) to Israel, and (2) to the World. See above, viii. 18. 

There was a Shear-jashub ("a remnant shall return") 
to Israel in Christ. 

But to the World, as opposed to Him, whether within 
the Church or without it, there was a Maher-shalal-hash-baz 
(" speed, spoil ; hasten, prey ") in Him. 

This is what is now revealed. 

By the special providence of God, the Hebrew people were 
placed geographically in a central country, an o/xcpaAbs yris, 
which was contiguous to almost all the great Empires of the 
Heathen World. Palestine was a theatre in which God's 
judgments on His own people and on all other Nations were 
displayed as a spectacle to the eyes of all mankind in successive 
acts of a great historical drama. 

On the north-east was Assyria, and, after it, Babylon ; on 
the north were Syria and Tyre; on the east and south-east 
were Amnion, Moab, and Edom; on the south-west was Philistia; 
and further still, on the south-west was Egypt. 

The Hebrew Nation was brought into contact with all these, 
with Assyria especially, in Isaiah's own age, and afterwards with 
Babylon and Egypt. 

The prophet looked forth upon all these Empires and King- 
doms from the sublime altitude of liis own spiritual watch-tower 
in Sion, and was enabled, by the Holy Ghost, to unfold their 
future historj' in a grand prophetic panorama, and thus to 
manifest the Divine Prescience and Supremacy of the Lord 
God of Israel, Whose prophet he was, and Who had His dwelling 
in Jerusalem. 

The inspired Seer, whose eye was illumined with light 
from above, predicted the overthrow of some of these mighty 
empires, with marvellous circumstantial accuracy, many years 
before their catastrophe ; and proclaimed that, although the 
great Empires of the Earth may proudly imagine, as Sennacherib 
did (the great Assyrian type of the World's Anti- Christian 
Power), that they are achieving victories over God Himself 
for their own aggrandisement, and are triumphing over the 
Truth, yet they are instruments in His hands for working 
out His purposes, and for chastening His people, for their moral 
purification by the discipline of affliction, and for manifesting 
His glory, and for showing to the World that all earthly powers 
which resist Christ will be broken in pieces, like potters' vessels, 
by a rod of iron (Ps. ii. 9). 

The prophecies which concern the Heathen Nations of the 
World are grouped together here, as also in Jer. xlvi. — li. ; and 
in Ezek. xxv. — xxxii. 

Prophecies on earthly Poivers. 


Burden of Babylon. 

2 ^ Lift ye up a banner "" upon the high mountain, 
Exalt the voice" unto them, ^ shake the hand, 

18. 3. Jer. 50. 2. 





h ch. 5. 26. & 

c Jer 51. 25. d ch. 10. 32. 

The order in which these " burdens," or prophecies, con- 
cerning tlie destinies of the great Nations of the World, in 
their rehitions to the ancient Church of God, and also to 
Christianity, are arranged, deserves careful consideration. 
They are placed according to a principle of inner connexion, 
which is very interesting and important to he observed. 

First, is the " burden on Babylon (chap. xiii.). 

The siege and capture of Babylon by the Medes and 
Persians is the most distant object in the prophetic picture, 
as far as it concerns the history of the heathen nations which 
are here enumerated. But it is presented first to the eye. 
And why ? Even because it was the most distant, and in order 
that the world might see to what an extent the range of the 
prophetic vision was enabled by the Holy Spirit to reach, and 
in order that, by the fulfilment of such prophecies as those, 
men might learn to believe, that the prophecies of Isaiah 
concerning the still more distant events relating to Christ 
(Who is the sum and substance of all prophecy), and to the 
final consummation of all things, would in due time be fulfilled 

Besides, the fall of Babylon, as the prophet foresaw and has 
foretold, would lead to a joyful issue — the return of Judah to 
its own land (xiv. 1), and to all the glorious results of that 
Restoration, which was the type and earnest of the Evangehcal 
Restoration of all Nations, both Gentile and Jew, to God in 
Christ, and His Church. 

It therefore had a strong claim to be placed in the forefront 
of the prophetic announcements. 

Next follows the prophecy on another enemy of God's 
Church, namely, Philistia (xiv. 29—32). 

It is the custom of Isaiah to give a guarantee of the ful- 
filment of his prophecies concerning distant events, by coupling 
those prophecies with a prediction concerning some event that is 

So it is here. He pledges his word for the fulfilment of 
the prophecy concerning the fall of Baht/Ion, which was remote, 
by following it up with a prophecy concerning the impending 
visitation on Philistia. 

Philistia was exulting over Judah, at the death of Ahaz, 
in whose reign Isaiah prophesied ; but Isaiah warns Philistia 
that Ahaz would be succeeded by a king who would chastise 
the pride of Philistia— Hezekiah (xiv. 28, 29). 

The truth of this prophecy would be tested immediately, 
and doubtless was established by historical facts; otherwise 
the prophetic mission of Isaiah would have been at an end. 
And as the fall of Babylon was to be succeeded, according to 
the prophecy, by a merciful visitation of Judah, so the chas- 
tisement of Philistia was designed to lead Philistia itself to 
adore the Lord God of Judah, and to manifest His power, 
glory, and love. 

These two prophecies are followed by a series of predic- 
tions concerning Nations which were to be humbled by the 
conquering arms of Assyria; the first is MoAB (chaps, xv., xvi.). 
Moab, the descendant of Lot (Gen. xix. 37), was allied by 
blood with the posterity of Abraham ; but Moab had always 
been hostile to God's people. And the prophet declares that 
God would punish Moab by means of Israel's most powerful 
enemy, Assyria. 

Isaiah boldly hazards an assertion, that within three years 
from the utterance of his prophecy, an afflictive judgment would 
fall upon the proud and powerful Moab (xvi. 14). He describes 
that judgment minutely. 

Here was an immediate test by which his prophetic 
mission would be tried. And he also deduces a moral from 
that calamity. Let Moab tm-n from its self-confidence, and 
from its idols, to the Lord God of Judah in Zion, and acknow- 
ledge His supremacy — a supremacy shown by the judgment 
He executed in Isaiah's time, and with the instrumentality of 
Isaiah's ministry, on the haughty power of Assyria, under 
Sennacherib, which had humbled Moab. 

This prophecy is followed by a pre-announcement of judg- 
ments on Syria, and its capital Damascus (xvii. 1), and on 
Epheaim, or Israel, which had been leagued with Syria against 
Judah. See above, vii. 1. 

The prophet declares that there was a merciful design in 
these visitations, namely, that these conquered Nations should 
turn from their idols, which could not help them, to their 
Makee and God, " the Holy One of Israel " (xvii. 7). 

Thus the prophet Isaiah becomes a great moral and 

religious Teacher of men and nations. He suggests to the 
attentive reader how the history of the World is to be studied 
and interpreted. 

Lest it should be imagined that Assteia had been 
enabled by its own strength to execute these judgments, 
Isaiah adds a prophecy, foretelling the future destruction of 
Assyria itself, on account of its hostility to Judah and its 
blasphemy God (xvii. 12 — 14). 

Next follow two prophecies concerning two of the strongest 
and most warlike nations of the South, Ethiopia, and Egypt 
(xviii. — XX.). 

Isaiah declares that within three years after a certain 
time,, when the prophecy was delivered, these two great nations 
would be humbled, and that their proud warriors would walk 
barefoot and in chains, being led captive by the invading army 
of Assyria (xx. 3 — 6). 

This event was more wonderful, because the prophet had 
just declared that the self-same power, the Assyrian, which 
would subjugate these two mighty powers, Egypt and Ethiopia, 
would fall prostrate, when it assaulted Jerusalem (xvii. 14). 

He first describes the alarm of Jerusalem, when Egypt 
and Ethiopia, to whom it looked for help against the Assyrian 
army of Sennacherib, fell before his victorious arms (xx. 4 — 6. 
Cp. X. 28 — 32). But the prophet himself stands calm and 
unmoved. He foresees the deliverance of Judah from the 
hands of Sennacherib, and the destruction of his terrible host, 
which had trampled Egypt and Ethiopia under foot. He saw 
the glory that would redound immediately, and also in the 
distant future, to the LoED God of Iseael, by the overthrow 
of the idols of Egypt, and by the confusion of its wise coun- 
sellors and soothsayers, who proved to be of no help to her in 
her distress, and whose sway over her was thus broken, and 
also by the destruction of the army of Sennacherib, the con- 
queror of Egypt and Ethiopia, when he marched against 
Jerusalem. He sees Egypt and Ethiopia bringing presents to 
Hezekiah, and to God ; and his prophetic view extends to the 
days of the preaching of Christ, and to the Day of Pentecost, 
when Assyria, Egypt, and Israel would be joined together in 
Christian faith and love, in the spiritual Zion of His Church 
(.xix. 23—25). 

The prophet next reverts to Babylon, which he calls the 
" desert of the sea " (xxi. 1). 

Babylon, leagued with the Medes, overthrew the power of 
Assyria, and destroyed Nineveh. The prophet foresees that 
the' Medes would combine with the Persians (xxi. 2), and 
destroy Babylon. Here again he recognizes the hand of 
Almighty God working for the good of His people. Babylon 
was the threshing-floor on which the sheaves of the Jewish 
Nation were laid to be threshed by affliction in its Captivity j 
but this, he I'eveals, was to be a merciftil dispensation, in order 
that the good grain might be winnowed from the chaff", and 
be gathered into His barn (xxi. 10. Cp. xiv. 1). 

Isaiah, according to his custom, follows up this prophecy 
concerning distant events, by predictions relating to his own 

The burden of DuMAH (a symbolical name for Edom, 
see note on xxi. 11), and the burden upon Aeabia, refer to 
the conquests of Assyria in those lands, in the near future 
(see xxi. 16) ; and the prophet foretells that these triumphs of 
Assyria over them, like her conquests in Egypt and Ethiopia 
(xviii.— XX.), would redound to the glory of the Lord God of 
Israel, Who used Assyria, as He afterwards employed Babylon, 
for the manifestation of His power, and of His mercy and 
love to His faithful People (xxi. 11. 16). 

But in order that His People might not presume on God's 
favour, as if it would be lavished on them without any cor- 
relative working of foith and holiness on their part, he in- 
terposes a solemn warning to Jeeusalem in " the burden of 
the Valley of Vision," its symbolical name (xxii. 1). 

Her privileges would only increase her condemnation, if 
she lived in worldly self-indulgence and carnal security, and 
did not place her trust in God in times of trial, as Hezekiah 
did. See on xxii. 9—13. Indeed, it would fare worse with 
Jerusalem than with Moab and Edom, Egypt and Ethiopia, 
Nineveh and Babylon, if she did not repent and obciy God. 
As a specimen of the sins of pi-ide and vain-glory which the 
prophet denounced in Judah, the character of Shebna, the 
courtier of Judah nearest to the King, is boldly selected by 
the prophet for stern rebuke and unflinching condemnation 

God musters His armies 


against Babylon, 





f Ps. 149.2, 5, 6. 

t Heb. the like- 
nets of. 

That they may go into the gates of the nobles. 
^ I have commanded my sanctified ones, 

I have also called * my mighty ones for mine anger, 

Even them that ^ rejoice in my highness. 
* The noise of a multitude in the mountains, f like as of a great people ; 

(xxii. 15 — 19), and is set in contrast with that of the faithful 
Eliakim, the loyal servant of God and of the King (xxii. 

In these two characters we have on the one hand a repre- 
sentation of the " Israel of God," who are beloved by Him, 
and who listened to His Word spoken by the prophets, 
and by Christ and His Apostles, and were graciously accepted 
by Him ; and, on the other, we see in Shebna a specimen of 
those who reject that Word, and are rejected by Him. 

Further, we here recognize a type of Cheist Himself in 
the Gospel, as distinguished from the Levitical Law, which was 
fulfilled in Him, and superseded by Him. See on xxii. 20 — 25. 

The last of these "Burdens" is that of Ttee (xxiii.). 
This reaches on to the same limit as that of Babylon, with 
which the scries began (xiii. xiv.). Indeed, it is intimately 
connected with it ; and thus the two limits serve to give a 
consistency and completeness to the whole. 

Tyre, as is here foretold, was to be destroyed by the 
Chaldees (xxiii. 13), that is by Babylon; and the depression of Tyre 
was to coincide with the time of the exaltation of Babylon (see 
on xxiii. 15. 17) ; and when Babylon would fall, then Tyre 
would rise {v. 18). 

Whether great Empires and Cities of the World fall or 
rise, all their destinies are in God's hand ; and He orders them 
in such a manner as to manifest His foreknowledge, by the 
accomplishment of prophecies ; and to assure men of His truth, 
and to produce a conviction in their minds that His other 
prophecies concerning the future rise and establishment of that 
only Kingdom which will never fall — the Kingdom of Cheist — 
will be fulfilled also; and that His predictions concerning the 
fuU and final triumph of that Kingdom will be accomplished, 
to the confusion of all His enemies, and to the recompense of 
all His faithful servants. 

And as the fall of Babylon was, according to Isaiah's 
prophecy, the occasion for the liberation of God's people from 
captivity ; and as the commerce of Tyre, after its restoration, 
was to be consecrated to His service, so we may rest assured, 
that all things will " work together for good to them that love 
God " (Rom. viii. 28) ; and the voice of triumph will one day be 
heard : " The kingdoms of this world are become the kmgdoms 
of our Lord, and of His Christ " (Rev. xi. 15). 

Lastly, it is to be borne in mind, that these prophecies 
against the enemies of God, and of His ancient Church and 
People, have not only a literal and historical, but also a moral 
meaning. The Nations here enumerated symbolize spiritual 
Powers which rebel against God. 

Assyria represents one form of rebellion against God, 
Babylon typifies another. Assyria is proud and blasphemous, 
Babylon is proud and idolatrous. Thus Assyria and Babylon 
symbolize two distinct forms of Anti-Christianism : the one, 
that of open Infidelity ; the other, that of superstitious Idolatry. 
Philistia typifies persistent hatred and warfare against God 
and His Church. Samaria, the capital of Israel, tainted \vith 
the corrupt Worship introduced by Jeroboam and Ahab, and 
leagued with heathen Syria against Judah, is the type of 
Heresy, Schism, and corrupt religion, allying themselves with 
Infidelity and Idolatry against the Church of God. Moab 
and Edom, connected with Judah by origin, but hostile to it, 
are types of apostate allies. Moab is a figure of animal strength, 
united with sensual self-indulgence and lustful idolatry. 
Egypt is the spirit of unsauctified Learning, Science, and Litera- 
ture. Ethiopia is characterized by physical force and military 
prowess (xviii. 2. 7). Judah is too prone to rely on these, instead 
of trusting to God ; but they cannot assist her in time of dis- 
tress; and they themselves are overthrown; and Judah is saved 
(as she was under Hezekiah) when she renounces her reliance 
in them and turns to Him for help ; but when she ceases to obey 
Him, her City is destroyed, and she is carried captive. 

These Nations represent various worldly Powers arrayed 
against God. Their utter discomfiture and destruction are 
foretold here by the prophet. He predicts also that all their 
assaults against Him will be overruled for His glory, and for 
the clearer manifestation of His truth ; and the failure of all 
earthly helps, and the miraculous deliverance wrought by God 

for His people, instruct the Church of every age, where her 
true strength lies, and assure her that there is One Who 
will never forsake her in the hour of peril, if she resorts to 
Him for help, and reposes her trust in Him. 

The genuineness of this series of prophecies, which has 
been controverted by some recent critics, has been ably vindi- 
cated by Hdvernick, Einleit. ii. 2, pp. 78 — 142 ; Keil, Einleit. 
pp. 218—234, 

The Bxteden of Babxlon. 

1. The burden'] Literally, that which is taken up and borne. 
The prophet Isaiah may be compared to a noble ship, laden 
with a rich cargo, and borne along by the wind of the Holy 
Spirit, to adopt St. Peter's comparison (2 Pet. i. 21), and he 
carries the freight of his oracular messages to the shores of 
different nations of the world. On this meaning of the word 
(massa), rendered burden (from nasa, to bear), see notes 
above, on Prov. xxx. 1, and xxxi. 1, in both which places the 
word is rendered prophecy. In the Septuagint Version here 
the word which we translate burden (a rendering derived 
from the Vulgate) is rightly translated vision in some cases, 
and sometimes tvord, or prophecy. It is translated revelation 
and prophecy in the Arabic Version. 

— Babylon] Babylon was of little importance in com- 
parison with Assyria, in the time of Isaiah; but he was 
enabled, by the Holy Spirit, to foresee its future greatness, 
and its hostility to the people of God. See above, on 2 Kings 
XX, 17, where Isaiah prophesies to Hezekiah the future carry- 
ing away of his posterity to Babylon. 

Here he rises still higher, and foretells the future de- 
struction of Babylon itself by the instrumentality of the Medes 
and Persians, who were of little account in Isaiah's day (see 
on V. 17) ; and he foresees the restoration of Judah consequent 
on that destruction, by the agency of Cyrus, raised up by God 
for that purpose. The prophecy is expanded below in xliv. 28 ; 
xlv, 1. 

Here is clear evidence of Divine Inspiration ; and the 
wonderful fulfilment of such prophecies as these shows the 
Divine Mission of Isaiah, and the Divine Truth of the religion 
which he preached. And further, the accomplishment of these 
prophecies, combined with the fulfilment of his prophecies 
concerning the Incarnation of the Son of God, His Preaching, 
Miracles, ana Sufferings, and the planting of His Church in 
all Nations, aflbrd the strongest evidence that Isaiah's other 
prophecies concerning the final triumph of the Gospel, and 
concerning the future General Resurrection, Universal Judg- 
ment, and Eternity of Rewards and Punishments, wUl be fulfilled 
also (cp. below Prelim. Note to chap. xl.). 

2. Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain] Literally, 
upon the bare hill (Qesen. 844), where it may be seen far and 
wide by those whom God summons to the battle against Babylon. 
This and the other prophecies in Isaiah, and Jeremiah (chaps, 
1. and li.) concerning the destruction of Babylon, and the 
consequent liberation of the people of God, have also a special 
and mysterious interest for these latter days, in consequence 
of their relation to the Mystical Babylon of the Apocalypse, in 
whicli the language of Isaiah and Jeremiah is adopted by 
St. John, and applied to it (Rev. xiv. 8 ; xvi. 19 ; xvii. 5 ; 
xviii. 2), and as therefore awaiting another secondary fulfilment 
in the destruction of the Mystical Babylon, and in the spiritual 
blessings which will accrue from that event to the Church of 
God. See Vitringa, pp. 444 — 446, and the notes below on 
chaps, xxi., xlvi., and xlvii. 

On the genuineness of this prophecy concerning Babylon 
(which has been disputed by some recent critics), see the 
remarks of Hdvernick, Einleit. ii, 2, pp. 78 — 107 ; Keil, Einleit., 
pp. 217 — 222 ; and Delitzsch, Commentary, p. 185. 

3. my sanctified ones] Those who are consecrated to Me 
for My service, to execute My pleasure on Babylon, especially 
Cyrus, whom God calls, "My Shepherd " (xliv. 28), and " Mine 
Anointed" (xlv. 1. Cp. Jer, vi. 4; xxii. 7; H. 27), and who 
speaks as specially commissioned by God, in 2 Chron. xxxvi. 23. 
Ezra i. 2, and was a type of Christ. See the notes there. 

Observe, the campaign against Babylon is here represented 
as the work of God. 

The Lord musters His armies ISAIAH XIII. 5 — 14. 

against Babylon, 

A tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together : 

The Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the hattle. 
^ They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, 

Even the Lord, and the weapons of his indignation, 

To destroy the whole land. 
^ Howl ye ; ^ for the day of the Lord is at hand ; 

'' It shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. 
^ Therefore shall all hands j| be faint, 

And every man's heart shall melt : 
^ And they shall be afraid : 

' Pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them ; 

They shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth : 

They shall f be amazed f one at another ; 

Their faces shall he as f flames. 
^ Behold, "^ the day of the Lord cometh. 

Cruel both with wrath and fierce anger. 

To lay the land desolate : 

And he shall destroy ' the sinners thereof out of it. 
^° For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their 
light : 

The sun shall be " darkened in his going forth, 

And the moon shall not cause her light to shine, 
*^ And I will punish the world for their evil, 

And the wicked for their iniquity ; 

" And I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, 

And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. 
^■^ I ^dll make a man more precious than fine gold ; 

Even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. 
13 o Therefore I will shake the heavens. 

And the earth shall remove out of her place. 

In the wrath of the Lord of hosts, 

And in ^ the day of his fierce anger. 
^^ And it shall be as the chased roe, 

And as a sheep that no man taketh up : 

'^ They shall every man turn to his own people. 

And flee every one into his own land. 





g Zeph. 1. 7. 
Rev. 6. 17. 
h Job 31. 23. 
Joel 1. 15. 

II Or, fall down. 

i Ps. 48. 6. 
ch. 21. 3. 

+ iieb. wonder. 
t Heb. every man 
at his neighbour, 
+ Heb. faces of 
the flames. 
kMal.4. 1. 

1 Ps. 104. 35. 
Prov. 2. 22. 

m ch. 24. 21, 23. 
Ezek. 32. 7. 
Joel 2. 31. & 
3. 15. 

Matt. 24. 29. 
Mark 13. 24. 
Luke 21. 25. 

o Hag. 2. 6. 

p Ps. 110.5. 
Lam. 1. 12. 

q Jer. 50. 16. 

6. from a far country'] From Media and Persia to the 
lowlands of Babylon. See v. 17 ; and Jer. li. 11. 

6. Hoiol ye] Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed. 
Howl for her (Jer. li. 8). 

8. They shall he in pain as a looman that travaileth] As 
Belshazzar was, on the night of her fall, according to Daniel's 
description, " when the joints of his loins were loosed, and his 
knees smote one against another" (Dan. v. 6). 

— They shall he amazed] Compare the description in 
Jeremiah (1. 43 ; and li. 30), and in Daniel (v. 6), concerning 
the amazement and confusion in the city and palace of Babylon, 
when the army of Cyrus rushed in upon them. 

On the circumstances of the siege and capture, see Dan. v. ; 
Serodotus, i. 190, 191; and Xenophon, Cyropsedia, vii. 5. 15; 
and Vitriiiga, pp. 440 — 444; Bp. Newton on the Prophecies, 
ch. y;..;, Davison on Prophecy, Disc, vi., Pt. iv. ; and P««^, 
Lectures on Daniel, pp. 447 — 449; Mawlinson, Anct. Monar- 
chies, iii. 516 — 519, and see below on xxi. 1 — 9 and chaps, xlvi. 
and xlvii. 

10. the constellations] Literally, the Orions, Compare on 
•Job ix. 9; xxxviii. 31. Amos v. 8. 

— shall not give their light] Such descriptions as these 
betoken a state of national confusion and panic, like that 
which would be caused by the darkening of the heavenly 
bodies, to the contemplation of which the Babylonians were 
addicted for purposes of divination. See xlvii. 13 ; and Daniel's 
description of the perplexity of the astrologers in the last 
night of Belshazzar's rule at Babylon (Dan. v. 7, 8). 

On the meaning of such figurative language as this, see 
2 Sam. xxii. 8 ; and below, xxiv. 19 ; and Joel ii. 31, inter- 
preted by St. Peter (Acts ii. 19, 20 ; and Luke xxi. 25, 26. 

12. I will maJce a man more precious] The city, once so 
populous, will (says the prophet) become so desolate, that a 
man will be more scarce and precious in it than gold. Cp. 
X. 19; XXIV. 6. Besides, the Medes and Persians will not 
regard gold, and will not receive it as a ransom for their 
enemies and captives. See v. Yl. Babylon was celebrated for 
her wealth in gold, but all her riches did not help her to redeem 
one of her princes. 

14. shall every man turn to his oton people] The nations 
which formerly resorted to Babylon, as the general emporium 
and mart of the World, shall turn away from her in amazement. 

Babylon shall he 

ISAIAH XIII. 15—19. 

as the overthroiv of Sodom, 

r Ps. 137. 9. 
Nahum 3. 10. 
Zech. 14. 2. 

8ch. 21. 2. 
Jer. 51. 11, 28. 
Dan. 5. 28, 31. 

t ch. 14. 4, 22. 

+ Heb. as the 


u Gen. 19. 24, 25. 

Deut. 29. 23. Jer. 49. 18. & 50. 40. 

1^ Every one that is found shall be thrust through ; 

And every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword. 
^^ Their children also shall be ' dashed to pieces before their eyes ; 

Their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished. 
^7 ' Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, 

Which shall not regard silver ; 

And as for gold, they shall not dehght in it. 
^3 Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces ; 

And they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb ; 

Their eye shall not spare children. 
1^ * And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, 

The beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, 

Shall be f as when God overthrew " Sodom and Gomorrah. 

Compare the description in the Apocalypse of the state 
of the mystical Babylon after its desti-uction (Rev. xviii. 

15. Every one that is found'] That is found; literally, 
every one that is caught, as in a net (according to the words 
of Herodotus, i. 191), by the invading army of the Medes and 
Persians. In the night of the capture of Babylon there was 
a terrible massacre. Cp. Jer. 1. 30 ; li. 4 {Xenophon, Cyrop. 
vii. 5. 26—31. Bursting into the palace, a band of Persians 
rushed into the presence of the monarch, and slew him in the 
scene of his impious revelry. Other bands carried fire and 
sword through the town. WTien morning came, Cyrus found 
himself undisputed master of the city, which, humanly speak- 
ing, might with ease have baffled his efforts, if it had not 
presumptuously despised them, relying on its own strength 
(Rawlinson, iii. 518). 

17. the Medes] Headed by Cyaxares II., "Darius the 
Mede," of Dan. v. 31. As Jeremiah speaks (li. 11. 28), " The 
Lord hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes : for 
His device is against Babylon, to destroy it. Prepare against 
her the nations with the kings of the Medes." 

In Isaiah's days Persia (Elam) was of no account in the 
world's history. The words Faras (Persia), and Farsayah, 
and Farsi (Persian), do not occur in Isaiah, or Jeremiah, or 
any of the prophets before Ezekiel and Daniel, and in none 
of the historical books but those written after the Captivity, 
e. g. 2 Chron., Ezra, Esther, and Nehemiah. 

But though Persia was in obscui-ity in Isaiah's time, still 
he perceives its nascent power, and reveals its future grandeur, 
and even places it before Media, in xxi. 2 : " A grievous vision 
is declared unto me. Go up, O Elam : besiege, O Media," 

It is remarkable that the Medes, the very people whom 
Babylon had invited to unite with her to destroy Nineveh, 
were made the instruments of her destruction. 

So in the Apocalypse it is revealed, that some of the kings 
who were once the vassals of the mystical Babylon, will be in- 
struments, in God's hands, for chastising her. See on Eev. 
xvii. 16. 

18. Their hows'] For which they were famous. Cp. Jer. 1. 14. 
29 ; li. 3. 11. 

19. as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah] So 
sudden shall the destruction of Babylon be. Such it was (see 
on V. 15), and eventually so complete, that Babylon became 
a desolate desert, as Strabo describes it (xvi. 15), where he 
says, "The great city is a great wilderness." Cp. Fausan. 
viii. 33; and see Jer. 1. 40, where the same comparison is 

Although the walls of Babylon were of enormous thick- 
ness and height, yet at the present time (as the British ofBcers 
testify, who were recently employed in the survey of the site) 
" no vestige of them has been discovered." Eawlinson, Ancient 
Mon. iii. pp. 338, 339, where is a plan of the site of Babylon. 
See also there, p. 359. Mr. Fawlinson thus writes : — 

" Babylon, according to the descriptions of the ancients, 
was a great city, built on a very regular plan, surrounded by 
populous suburbs, interspersed among fields and gardens, the 
whole being included within a large, square, strongly -fortified 
enceinte. When we turn from this picture of the past to con- 
template the present condition of the locaUties, we are at first 
struck with astonishment at the small traces v/hich remain of 

so vast and wonderftd a metropolis. 'The broad walls of 
Babylon ' are ' utterly broken ' down, and her ' high gates 
burned with fire' (Jer. li. 58). 'The golden city hath ceased' 
(Isa. xiv. 4). God has ' swept it with the besom of destruction ' 
(ibid. ver. 23). ' The glory of the kingdoms, the beauty of 
the Chaldees' excellency,' is become ' as when God overthrew 
Sodom and Gomorrah' (Isa. xiii. 19). The traveller who 
passes through the land is at fiurst inclined to say that there 
are no ruins, no remains of the mighty city which once lorded 
it over the earth. By and by, however, he begins to see 
that though ruins, in the common acceptation of the word, 
scarcely exist, though there are no arches, no pillars, but one 
or two appearances of masonry, even ; yet the whole country 
is covered with traces of exactly that kind which it was pro- 
phesied Babylon should leave (Jer. li. 37) — ' And Babylon 
shall become heaps.' Compare 1. 26. Vast ' heaps ' or mounds, 
shapeless and unsightly, are scattered at intervals over the 
entire region where it is certain that Babylon anciently stood ; 
and between the ' heaps ' the soil is in many places composed 
of fragments of pottery and bricks, and deeply impregnated 
with nitre, infallible indications of its having once been covered 
with buildings. As the traveller descends southward from 
Baghdad, he finds these indications increase, until, on nearing 
the Euphrates, a few miles beyond Mohawil, he notes that they 
have become continuous, and finds himself in a region of 
mounds, some of which are of enormous size. 

" These mounds begin about five miles above Hillah, and 
extend for a distance of above three miles from north to south 
along the course of the river, lying principally on its left or 
eastern bank. The ruins on this side consist chiefly of three 
great masses of building. The most northern, to which the 
Arabs at the present day apply the name of Basil, — the true 
native appellation of the ancient city, — is a vast pile of brick- 
work, of an irregular quadrilateral shape, with precipitous 
sides, furrowed by ravines, and with a flat top. 

" Below the Babil mound, which stands isolated from the 
rest of the ruins, are two principal masses, the more northern 
known to the Arabs as El Kase, ' the Palace,' and the more 
southern as ' the mound of Amran,' from the tomb of a reputed 
prophet, Amran-ibn-Ali, which crowns its summit. 

" South of the Kasr mound, at the distance of about 800 
yards, is the remaining great mass of ruins, the mound of 
Jumjuma, or of Amran. The general shape of this mound is 
triangular; but it is very irregular, and ill-defined, so as 
scarcely to admit of accurate description. Its three sides face 
respectively a little east of north, a little south of east, and a 
little south of west. 

" A low line of mounds is traceable between the western 
face of the Amran and Kasr hills, and the present eastern bank 
of the river, bounding a sort of narrow valley, in which either 
the main stream of the Euphrates, or at any rate a branch 
from it, seems anciently to have flowed. 

"There are also, besides these ramparts and the great 
masses of ruin above described, a vast number of scattered and 
irregular heaps or hillocks on both sides of the river, chiefly, 
however, upon the eastern bank. Of these one only seems to 
deserve distinct mention. This is the mound called El Homeira, 
'the Red,' which lies due east of the Kasr, distant from it 
about 800 yards, — a mound said to be 300 yards long by 100 
wide, and to attain an elevation of 60 or 70 feet. It is 

Desolation of Bahylon. ISAIAH XIII. 20—22. XIV. 1. 

Deliverance of Israel. 

"^ ' It shall never be inhabited, 

Neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation : 

Neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there ; 

Neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. 
'■^ y But f wild beasts of the desert shall lie there ; 

And their houses shall be full of f doleful creatures 

And jl f owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. 
^" And f the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their || desolate houses, 

And dragons in their pleasant palaces : 

^ And her time is near to come, 

And her days shall not be prolonged. 

XIV. ^ For the Lord ^ will have mercy on Jacob, 
And '' will yet choose Israel, 
And set them in their own land : 
" And the strangers shall be joined with them, 
And they shall cleave to the house of Jacob. 





X Jer. 50. 3, 30. 

& 51. 29, 62. 

y ch.34. 11—15. 
Rev. 18. 2. 
+ Heb. Ziim. 
t Heb. Ochim. 

II Or, ostriches. 
t Heb. daughters 
of the owl. 
+ Heb. lim. 
II Or, palaces. 

« Jer. 51. 33. 

a Ps. 102. 13. 

b Zech. 1. 17. & 
2. 12. 

c ch. 60. 4, 5, 10. 
Eph. 2. 12, 13, &c. 

composed of baked brick, of a bright red colour, and must 
have been a building of a very considerable height, resting 
upon a somewhat confined base. Its bricks are inscribed along 
their edges, not (as is the usual practice) on their lower 

" Such, then, are the ruins of Babylon, the whole that can 
now with certainty be assigned to the ' beauty of the Chaldees' 
excellency ' (Isa. xiii. 19), the ' Great Babylon ' of Nebuchad- 
nezzar (Dan. iv. 30). Within a space little more than three 
miles long, and a mile and three quarters broad, are contained 
all the undoubted remains of the greatest city of the old world " 
(Raivlinson, Ancient Monarchies, iii. 350 — 361). 

20. It shall never be inhabited^ Although Alexander the 
Great, the conqueror of Egypt and Asia, designed to make 
Babylon the capital of his empire {Arrian, de Exp. Alex. vii. 
17; Josephus, c. Apion. i. § 22; Strabo, xvi. p. 1073; Q. 
Curtiiis, V. 1), and employed 2000 workmen for two months in 
clearing away the rubbish of the foundations of the Temple of 
Belus, in preparation for the execution of that purpose, yet he 
was baffled in his design, and aU his efforts were abortive; 
and the great conqueror of the East was cut off in the height 
of his glory by death at Babylon. 

Alexander's intention to restore Bnbylon may be compared 
with the Emperor Julian's attempt to rebuild the Temple of 
Jerasalem. Both warred against God's will, as declared in 
prophecy — the former unconsciously, the latter deliberately. 
Both were frustrated in their design ; and the truth of God's 
Word, and the might of God's power, were made more manifest 
and illustrious by their opposition to them. 

21. doleful creatures] Literally, AojyZi/jg's; howling creatures, 
perhaps screech owls (Gesen. 28). 

— owls'] Rather, ostriches ; so called from their wailing. 
See Job xxx. 29 ; xxxix. 13 — 18. 

— satyrs] Heb. seirim, rendered satyrs here, and at xxxiv. 14. 
Properly, hairy creatures, like goats; rendered in our Version by 
devils (as here by Vulg.), in two places — Lev. xvii. 7, where 
see note, and 2 Chron. xi. 15. In some passages it is translated 
hairy, us Gen. xxvii. 11 ; and it is rendered ^oa^, Lev. iv. 24, and 
in numerous other places. 

In Dan. viii. 21, it describes " the rough he-goat, the 
King of Grajcia" (Alexander the Great), who kept his court 
at Babylon. Cp. xiv. 9 ; and see note there. 

22. the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate 
houses] Rather, and hoioLers (dogs, wolves, jackals : see 
Gesen. 36) shall cry to one another in its desolate houses. 
The word iyyim (which sometimes signifies islands) is here to 
be rendered as above. It is derived from avah, to howl 
{Gesen. 19. 36). Cp. below, xxxiv. 14. Jer. 1. 39, where the 
same correction is to be made in our Version. 

— dragons] Heb. tannim ; probably, ^ac^aZ^ {Gesen. 868; 
Fuerst, 1481). See above, on Job xxx. 29 ; and compare Jer. 
1. 3. 13. 39 ; and the words of iS'. Jerome (on chap, xiii.), who says 
that he heard from a traveller in his day, who had visited the 
ruins of Babylon, that it had become a royal hunting-park, 
and that all kinds of wild animals abounded there. 

Vol. V. Paet I.— 41 

We are here reminded again of the description in the 
Apocalypse of the future condition of the mystical Babylon 
after its fall. See Rev. xviii. 2. 

The Liberation of God's People from Babylon. 

XIV. 1. For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will 
yet choose Israel, and set them in their oion land] Here is 
comfort for Israel. Isaiah foretold their captivity at Babylon 
(see on xiii. 1) ; but he was enabled to see beyond that 
captivity, and to foretell the fall of Babylon, and the restoration 
of Israel, consequent on that destruction. (See Prelim. Note to 
chap, xl.) These prophecies of Isai ih, and those of Jeremiah which 
complete them, appear to have been shown to Cyrui;, and thus 
to have been instrumental, in God's hands, for executing His 
purpose of love in that restoration. See above, on 2 Chron. 
xxxvi. 21—23 ; and Ezra i. 1, 2. 

The prophecies in Isaiah and Jeremiah concerning the 
destruction of the literal Babylon have their Evangelical echo 
in the Apocalypse, in the prophecies concerning the destruc- 
tion of the mystical Babylon (Rev. xvii. and xviii.). And the 
liberation and return of captive and exiled Judah, in con- 
sequence of that destruction, and the restoration of the Temple 
and walls of Jerusalem, and the other spiritual blessings which 
accompanied those events, have also their counterpart in the 
Apocalypse, in the future triumphs of Christ and the Gospel. 
See on Rev. xix. 1 — 21. There is good reason for believing 
that as the fall of the literal Babylon was the occasion of the 
liberation and return of God's ancient people to Jerusalem, so 
the future destruction of the mystical Babylon will be fraught 
with special blessings to them, and to the whole Church of 
Christ. See notes below, on Rev. xvi. 12. Therefore these pro- 
phecies have a special interest for the latter days. Compare 
below, on xxi. 1 — 8 ; and on chaps, xlvi. xlvii. 

— the strangers shall be joined with them] The restora- 
tion of Israel was eftected by a stranger, the great Persian 
king and conqueror, Cyrus (B.C. 536), and was promoted by 
a stranger, the Persian king Artaxerxes Longimanus (b.c. 458). 
See Introd. to Ezra, p. 296 ; and Ezra i. 6 ; vii. 1 — 24 ; and many 
strangers were converted to the religion of the Jews in their 
dispersions, in the days of Esther (Esth. viii. 17), and in later 
days in Egypt, in the time of the Ptolemies ; so that at the 
day of Pentecost there were "strangers of Rome" at Jeru- 
salem, and innumerable others from all lands (Acts ii. 9 — 12) ; 
and there were synagogues in all parts of the civilized world, 
where the Old Testament was read weekly on the Hebrew 
Sabbath, and to which religious proselytes of all nations resorted. 
See Introd. to the Acts, pp. 8 — 10. Cp. Tacit., Hist. v. 5 ; 
Joseph., Ant. xiii. 17. 

This prophecy is to be extended to later days, and de- 
mands also an Evangelical interpretation ; we see its fulfilment 
in the cleaving of heathen Nations to Christ, the promised 
Seed of Abraham, and of David, in the spiritual Sion of His 
Church. See below, Ix. 5. 10. Zech. viii. 22, 23. Acts xv. 
14—17. Eph. ii. 18, 14. 


The glory of God's Church. 

ISAIAH XIV. 2 — 12. How hath the oppressor ceased ! 





d ch. 49. 22. & 

60. 9. & 66. 20. 

+ Heb. thai had 
taken them 
e ch. 60. 14. 

fob. 13. 19. 
Hab. 2. 6. 
II Or, taunting 

II Or, exactress 
of gold, 
g Rev. 18. 16. 
h Ps. 125. 3. 

t Heb. a stroke 
without removing. 

i ch. 55. 12. 
Ezek. 31. 16. 

kEzek. 32. 21. 
II Or, the grave. 

t Heb. leaders. 
II Or, great goals. 

I ch. 34. 4. 

II Or, day star. 

2 And the people shall take them, ^ and bring them to their place : 

And the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord 

For servants and handmaids : 

And they shall take them captives, f whose captives they were ; 

^And they shall rule over their oppressors. 
^ And it shall come to pass in the day 

That the Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, 

And from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve, 
4 That thou '' shalt take up this || proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, 

How hath the oppressor ceased ! 

The II ^ golden city ceased ! 
^ The Lord hath broken ^ the staff of the wicked. 

And the sceptre of the rulers. 
^ He who smote the people in wrath with f a continual stroke. 

He that ruled the nations in anger. 

Is persecuted, and none hindereth. 
'^ The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet : 

They break forth into singing ; 
^ ' Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee. 

And the cedars of Lebanon, saying^ 

Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us. 
^ "^ II Hell from beneath is moved for thee 

To meet tkce at thy coming : 

It stirreth up the dead for thee. 

Even all the f |'| chief ones of the earth ; 

It hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. 
^^ All they shall speak and say unto thee. 

Art thou also become weak as we ? 

Art thou become like unto us ? 
'^ Thy pomp is brought down to the grave. 

And the noise of thy viols : 

The worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. 
^2 ' How art thou fallen from heaven, || Lucifer, son of the morning ! 

2. And the people shall take theni] Rather, And nations 
shall take them {Sept., Vulg., Syr., and Tar gum), i. e. heathen 
nations shall escort them to Jerusalem. See the foregoing 
note. Cp. Ps. cxxvi. 3, where it is stated that the miraculous 
restoration of Israel attracted the attention and excited the 
wonder of the Heathen. 

— shall possess them— for servants and handmaids : and 
they shall rule over their oppressors^ This prophecy also is to be 
extended to later days, when the true religion of the Israel of 
God was received into royal courts and palaces, in the Gospel 
of Christ, and when the Cross of Christ was set on the diadems 
of kings (cp. xlix. 23 ; Ix. 9—14; and l.d. 5. Chad. 17—21. Rev. 
xxi. 24, 25 ; and Vitringa here) ; and it will have its full 
accomplishment in the "Jerusalem which is above, which is 
the mother of us all" (Gal. iv. 26). 

4. this proverb^ Literally, this parable, or similitude 
{Vulg. Heb. mashal). See above, on Prov. i. 1; and Introd. 
to Proverbs, p. xi. The sense is, that what here follows, is not 
only applicable to Babylon, but it is to be applied, by way 
of comparison, to all great, proud, dominant, idolatrous Powers, 
of which Babylon was a specimen and a type. See vv. 26, 27. 
This mashal ov parable has therefore its spiritual significance for 
the Last days ; and it has its echo in the Apocalypse (chap, xviii.). 

— The golden city'] Or, gold-maker, i. e. an exactress of 
gold {Oeseti: 450). The Hebrew word here used, madhebah, 
is supposed by some to be from dehab, the Chaldee for zahab, 
gold. Some ancient Versions {Sept., Syr., Aquila, and Tar gum) 


seem to have read marhebah, oppression, which is preferred by 
Fucrst, in. 1283. 

6. Is persecuted] Rather, toith smiting, and none hindereth, 
1. e. without intermission. He who smote others, and did never 
cease, and spared not, is now punished for his cruelty. 

8. the fir trees (rather, the cypresses) rejoice at thee, and 
the cedars of Lebanon] Nebuchadnezzar himself, in words 
quoted below, on v. 14, speaks of his having hewn down 
cedars of Lebanon ?mA cypresses iov the construction of his own 
buildings at Babylon. Similarly Sennacherib's son, Esarhaddon, 
King of Assyria, speaks of the timber trees of cedar and 
cypress, which were sent by his tributaries from the mountains 
of Sirar and Lebanon for the building of his edifices at 
Nineveh. (Inscription of Esarhaddon, published by Oppert, 
p. 58.) And Sennacherib said by Rabshakeh (2 Kings xix. 23), 
" With the multitude of my chariots I am come up to the 
sides of Lebanon, and will cut down the tall cedars thereof, 
and the choice fir-trees {cypresses) thereof." 

In later days, Alexander the Great built for himself a fleet of 
cypress wood; and the Syrian vessels had masts oi cedar {Delitz.). 

9. Hell from beneath is moved] The Earth is at rest, is 
quiet, because thou art gone ; but Hades stirs up its inha- 
bitants to meet thee — a sublime contrast. 

— the chief ones of the earth] Literally, the he-goats of the 
earth. Cp. Zech. x. 3 ; and above, on v. 21. 

12. Lucifer] Heb. heylel, from halal, to shine (xiii. 10. 
Job xxxi. 26. Gesen. 223. 226). Cp. ^\ioj, o-eAV'?. The word 

The impious pride and fall 

ISAIAH XIV. 13—19. 

of the King of Babylon. 

Hoiv art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations ! 
'^ For thou hast said in thine heart, 

■" I will ascend into heaven, 

" I will exalt my throne above the stars of God : 

I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, 

° In the sides of the north : 
^^ I will ascend above the heights of the clouds ; 

p I will be like the most High. 
^^ Yet thou "■ shalt be brought down to hell. 

To the sides of the pit. 
^^ They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, 

Atid consider thee, saying, 

Is this the man that made the earth to tremble. 

That did shake kingdoms ; 
^^ That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof ; 

That II opened not the house of his prisoners ? 
^^ All the kings of the nations. 

Even all of them, lie in glory. 

Every one in his own house. 
^^ But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, 

And as the raiment of those that are slain, 

Thrust through with a sword. 

That go down to the stones of the pit ; 

As a carcase trodden under feet. 





m Matt. II. 23. 
n Dan. 8. 10. 

p ch. 47. 8. 
2 Tliess. 2. 4. 

q Matt. II. 23. 

II Or, did not let 
his prisoners 
loose homewarilst 

occurs only here. The appellation may perhaps have been 
applied to the King of Babylon, on account of the wor- 
ship of the celestial bodies by the Chaldeans, and because they 
claimed to be under their special protection. See Smulinson, 
First Monarchy, i. pp. 156 — 161. Compare the words of 
Nebuchadnezzar himself, quoted below, in the note on v. 21. 
These words are referred spiritually to the proud, fallen 
Lucifer, Satan himself, by some of the ancient Fathers 
{TertulUan, Cyprian, Athanasius, Chrysostom, and Augustine ; 
and so Lyranus, Calovius, and others). In the Apocalypse 
Satan is represented as sweeping a thu-d part of the stars from 
heaven with his tail (Hev. xii. 3 — 9) ; and our Lord represents 
him as lightning falling from heaven (Luke x. 18) ; and St. 
Jude represents him and his hosts as not keeping their first 
estate or dominion, and cast down into chains of darkness for 
the great Day (see Jude 6) ; and in the Apocalypse the teachers 
of false doctrine are compared to falling stars. See on Rev. viii. 11. 
We may therefore recognize here a prophetic representa- 
tion of the fall of all Satan's earthly adherents who dare to resist 
and rebel against God ; and we may compare with it St. Paul's 
description of the pride and fall of the Lawless One (2 Thess. 
ii. 2 — 12). Cp. Augustine de doctr. Christ, iii. 55. 

— thou — ivhich didst toeaken the nations'] Tho%i who didst 
triumph over nations, so as to lay them prostrate before thee 
{Gesen. 285). 

13. upo7i the mount of the congregation'] The mount of 
meeting with God. See on Exod. xxv.. Prelim. Note; and 
Exod. xxv. 22 ; xxix. 42, 43. Ps. Ixxxiv. 7. This phrase is a 
figurative one taken from the Temple, as situated on the 
Mount to which the tribes came up to appear before God. See 
Targum here, and Vitringa. Hence the Church is called " the 
Mountain of the Lord's house," ii. 2. 

The prophet Daniel said to Belshazzar, whom he reminded 
of the shameful consequences of Nebuchadnezzar's pride : 
" Thou his son, Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, 
though thou knewest all this; but hast lifted up thyself 
against the Lord of heaven" (Dan. v. 22, 23). 

— In the sides of the north] A phrase taken from the site 
of the Temple on Moriah, which was on the side of the north, 
in reference to Zion, the city of David; and it is a phrase 
applicable to it, as being a defence and protection against evil, 
which was supposed to come from the north. See above, on 
Ps. xlviii. 2 ; below, Jer. i. 13 — 15. 


The spiritual counterpart of this arrogant vaunting of 
the King of Babylon is seen in St. Paul's prophecy concerning 
" the Man of sin, the Son of Perdition, who sitteth in the 
Temple of Ood, showing himself that he is God." See below, 
on 2 Thess. ii. 2—4. 

14. I ivill be like the most Sigh] These words are illus- 
trated by the language of Nebuchadnezzar himself, in an 
inscription found at Babylon, and interpreted by Oppert, in 
a paper read before the Academie Imperiale of Reims, Aug. 3, 
1865 :— 

" I, Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, the mighty Lord, 
the elect of Merodach, the Supreme Ruler, the adorer of Nebo, 
the Vicar-King, who judges without injustice, the Minister of 
the Gods, the eldest son of Nabopolassar. He has created me, 
the God who begat me ; He hath entrusted to me the dominion 
over the legions of men. I have changed inaccessible heights 
into roads for chariots. I have amassed in my city of Babylon 
silver, and gold, and precious stones, and timber of all kinds, 
the minerals of the hills, and the jewels of the seas, an infinite 
treasure, and I have brought thither the greatest trees from 
the summits of Lebanon." See v. 8. " I have covered with 
pure gold the beams of high cypresses for the carpenter's work 
of the sanctuary of the temples," — the lower part of these beams 
of cypress were plated with gold and silver, and other metals, 
and stone, — "and I constructed the tower of Borsippa with 
gold, silver, and other metals, and stones, and glazed bricks, 
and lentisk, and cedar." 

In p. 26, he speaks of his other works in cedar and cypress 
at Babylon. 

19. thou art cast out of thy grave] Or, Thou art east out 
far from thy grave ; as Belshazzar probably was. Cp. the 
narrative in Xenophon (Cyr. vii. 5. 30), who calls him " the 
impious ting" (and see Vitringa, p. 441). Perhaps the 
conspirators, Gobryas and Gadatas, wreaked their vengeance 
on the unhappy king, by casting his corpse unburied among 
the heaps of dead, and it did not come into the sepulchre of 
his ancestors. 

— the raiment of those that are slain] Instead of the 
corpse being clothed with funeral coverings, and conveyed to 
a noble grave, it will itself be a covering or garment to other 
corpses who lie beneath it. Belshazzar is described by Xeno- 
phon (Cyr. vii. 5. 30) as faUing in the fray with manyincar 
him. Cp. Sept. here, and Vulg. 
G 2 

His name sludl he cut off. 

ISAIAH XIV. 20—28. I will break the Assyrian. 

r.7ob 18 19. 
Ps. 21. 10. & 
37. 28. & 109. 13. 
s Exod. 20. 5. 
Matt. 23. 35. 

t Prov. 10. 7. 
Jer. 51.62. 
u 1 Kings H 10. 
X Job 18. 19. 

y ch. 34. 11. 
Zeph. 2. 14. 

r ch. 10. 27. 

a 2 Chron. 20. 6. 
Job 9. 12. & 
23. 13. 
Ps. 33. 11. 
Prov. 19. 21. & 
21. 30. 
ch. 43. 13. 
Dan. 4. 31, 35. 
b 2 Kings 16. 20. 

^^ Thou slialt not be joined with them in burial, 

Because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people : 

' The seed of evildoers shall never be renowned. 
-^ Prepare slaughter for his children ' for the iniquity of their fathers ; 

That they do not rise, nor possess the land, 

Nor fill the face of the world with cities. 
^- For I will rise up against them, 

Saith the Lord of hosts, 

And cut off from Babylon ^ the name, and "remnant, 

* And son, and nephew, saith the Lord. 
^•^ ^ I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water 

And I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, 

Saith the Lord of hosts. 
'•* The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, 

Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass ; 

And as I have purposed, so shall it stand : 
-^ That I will break the Assyrian in my land. 

And upon my mountains tread him under foot : 

Then shall ^ his yoke depart from off them. 

And his burden depart from off their shoulders. 
2^ This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth : 

And this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. 
2*^ For the Lord of hosts hath * purposed, and who shall disannul it ? 

And his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back ? 


In the year that ^ king Ahaz died was this burden. 

21. they do not rise'] This was literally fulfilled in the 
extinction of the Chaldean dynasty at the taking of Babylon, 
Cp. Dan. V. 31. Jer. xxvii. 7. " Ouines historise consentiunt, 
quod occiso Baltasar (filio Evilmarodach), nepote Nabuchodo- 
nosor, nullus de Nabuchodouosor stirpe deinceps regnarit" 
(S. Jerome). 

We may compare with this prophecy the confident hopes 
of Nebuchadnezzar, as expressed by himself in the inscription 
found at Babylon, ah-eady cited (see on v. 14), as follows : — 

" In Babylon is the tower of my abode, which contains 
the treasure of my inexhaustible royalty. To render more 
difficult the attack of an enemy against Imgour Bel, the in- 
destructible wall of Babylon, which is 480 stadia in length, 
I constructed a bulwark like a mountain. ... I built my 
palace for the wonder of the people. Let no enemy ever turn 
his face toward it. Being encompassed by the wall of Babylon, 
which protects itself from all assault, it is proof against all 
attack. Merodach, who hast created me, bless my work; 
for I am the King- Vicar, who has restored thy sanctuaries ! 
By thy aid, O sublime Merodach, I have built that house ! 
May I ever dwell without sorrow in that palace ; and may I 
multiply my race sevenfold ! May I gather therein the im- 
mense tributes of the kings of all mankind from the star of 
the West to the star of Nebo, in the region of the rising sun ! " 
Cp. the words, "Lucifer, Son of the morning" {v. 12). "Let 
no rebels ever vanquish me " (contrast the result of the re- 
bellion of Gobryas and Gadates); "and may I never pardon 
impiety " (contrast the impious revel of his own grandson, 
Belshazzar, and its consequences) ; " and may they who carry 
their heads on high in Babylon reign there on account of me, 
even to the most distant days !" (pp. 26, 27). 

22. nepheio] Heb. neced, which signifies progeny (Vulg., 
Gesen.). The English word nephew is used also in this larger 
sense in our Translation, in 1 Tim. v. 4. 

23. bittern'] The word here used is rendered porcupine or 
hedgehog by Sept. and Vulg. ; and so Oesen. 736 ; Fuerst, 
1247. It occurs again, xxxiv. 11 ; and Zeph. ii. 14. All that 
appears certain concerning it is, that it means an animal 
dwelling in swamps and marshes. 


The Assyrian to be broken in Jddah. 

24.] The foregoing prophecy concerning Babylon is followed 
by a denunciation of judgment on Assyria. As S. Jerome 
well says, "The prophet returns to what is near at hand, 
namely, to Sennacherib, the King of Assyi'ia, who took the 
fenced cities of Judah except Jerusalem, and whose urniy was 
destroyed there. Isaiah couples what is near with what is 
distant." This is his usual practice. The fulfilment of the 
nearer prophecy concerning Sennacherib and Assyria, and the 
deliverance of Jerusalem, would be a present pledge that the 
prophecy concerning Babylon, and the restoration of the Jews, 
would be fulfilled also. God says, by Jeremiah (1. 18), " Behold, 
I wiir punish the King of Babylon and his land, as I have 
])unished the King of Assyria." The one destruction was a 
pledge of the other ; and both these destructions are pledges 
to the Church of God in the latter days that all the enemies 
of God, — whether characterized by infidel and impious blas- 
phemy, like Assyria, or by idolatry, as Babylon, — will be 
destroyed; and that the Truth will triumph over all opposition, 
and achieve a full and final victory in Chi-ist. See v. 26. 

25. I will break the Assyrian in my land] Here is a strong 
argument in favour of the opinion that Sennacherib's army was 
not destroyed at Pelusium in Egypt, as some suppose, but in 
the land of Judah, and on the mountains of God, near 
Jerusalem. See below, on xxxvii. 36. 

Woe to Philistia. 

28. In the year that king Ahaz died] A break ought to be 
made here, as in the Arabic and Syriac Versions. This refers 
to what follows, — the Woe on Philistia. 

In the reign of Ahaz the Philistines had invaded the 
lowlands of Judah, on the south, and had taken many cities 
and villages, as Bethshemesh, Ajalon, Shochoh, Timnah, cele- 
brated in early days for the noble deeds of Israel (see 2 Chron. 
xxviii. 18) ; and, doubtless, they hoped ^ov further conquests 
under the reigu of the youthful son of Ahaz, Hezekiah. But 
the Prophet hero warns them not to exult. Instead of achieving 
more victories over Judah in its land, they will be subdued in 

Philistia is directed to Zioji. ISAIAH XIV. 29— 32. XV. 1. 

Burden of Moah, 

2^ Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, 

'^ Because the rod of him that smote thee is broken : 

For out of the serpent's root shall come forth a |1 cockatrice, 

•^ And his fruit shall he a fiery flying serpent. 

20 And the firstborn of the poor shall feed, 
And the needy shall lie down in safety : 
And I will kill thy root with famine. 
And he shall slay thy remnant. 

21 Howl, gate ; cry, city ; 

Thou, whole Palestina, art dissolved : 

For there shall come from the north a smoke, 

And II none shall he alone in his || appointed times. 

^"-^ What shall one then answer the messengers of the nation ? 
That ^ the Lord hath founded Zion, 
And *"the poor of his people shall || trust in it. 

XV. ^ The "^ burden of Moab. 




c 2 Chron. 20. G. 

il Or, adder. 

d 2 Kings 18.8, 

a Jer. 48. 1, &c. Ezek. 25. 8—11. Amos 2. 1 

II Or, he shall 
not be alonf. 
II Or, assembl es. 

e Pa. 87. 1, 5. & 
102. 16. 
f Zeph. 3. 12. 
Zech. 11. 11. 
II Or, betake them- 
selves unto it. 

their own country by the successor of Ahaz. So it came to 
pass. Hezekiah "smote the Philistines even unto Gaza, and 
the borders thereof, from the tower of the watchmen, to the 
fenced city." See 2 Kings xviii. 8. 

Observe the contrast here. 

In the foregoing prophecy concerning Babylon, it is fore- 
told that the King of Babylon would perish, and his city fall, 
and that Israel would rejoice in its return to its own land 
(xiii. xiv.). Now Ahaz dies, and Philistia, Israel's enemy, 
rejoices ; but the prophet foretells that its joy would be short, 
and that it would be followed by victories, which would be 
gained over it by Judah. So all things work together for 
good to them that love God. 

Remark also the connexion. After uttering a prophecy 
concerning the more distant fall of Babylon, and consequent 
liberation of Israel from captivity, Isaiah had returned to 
deliver a prophecy concerning the nearer destruction of the 
army of Assyria in the land of Judah, and the deliverance of 
Jerusalem, under Hezekiah; and now he comes back to a still 
nearer point, even to the first year of Hezekiah, and delivers 
a prophecy concerning his victory over Philistia. Thus one 
prophecy is built on the substruction of other prophecies, and 
is confirmed by them. They all culminate in Christ. 

29. thou, whole Palestina] All thou, Philistia (Vulff., Sept., 
and Gesen. 396). Cp. Jer. xlviii. 31. The Prophet sees all Philistia 
bursting forth in an universal shout of joy at the prospect of 
conquests over Judah ; and he fcu'etells that the whole country 
will soon join in one general howl of woe {v. 31). 

— the rod of him that smote thee] The rod of David, which 
smote thee in the days of David himself, and Solomon, and 
Uzziah, will again smite thee, by the hand of Hezekiah. See 
<S. Jerome here. 

— a cockatrice'] Hezekiah. The Targum adds, " The Messiah, 
Wlio will come forth from the sons of the son of Jesse." And, 
doubtless, this prophecy is to be extended in a spiritual sense 
to the conquests to be achieved by Christ, — the Divine Son of 
David, and King of Judah, — over His enemies, symbolized by 
the Philistines; conquests foreshadowed by the overthrow of 
the Philistine champion Goliath, by David, at Shochoh. See 
above, on 1 Sam. xvii. 4 — 55. He, Who was raised up on the 
Cross, like the Serpent lifted up by Moses iu the wilderness 
(John iii. 14), conquered the Old Serpent by His Death. 
See Heb. ii. 14. 

This spiritual interpretation is confirmed by what follows. 

30. the firsthorn of the poor] Those on whom the burden 
falls of providing for the rest of the family. In a spiritual 
sense, this may be applied to the humblest of Christ's children, 
— they will be satisfied (Matt. v. 6). 

31. Thou, whole Palestina] All thou, Philistia. See v. 29. 

— in his appointed times] All the military forces of the 
invader (primarily, Hezekiah : see on v. 28) shall come to the 
muster against thee at their appointed times. None shall fail. 

32. What shall one then answer] Or, And what answer 
shall messengers (taken collectively) of a Nation bring 1 (see 


Sept., Arabic, and Targum ; and cp. Delitzsch). Wliat will 
be the report which the messengers of Nations will carry 
home to their own land, when they hear of the defeat of the 
enemies of Jerusalem, such as those specified in the foregoing 
prophecies — Babylon, Assyria, and Philistia ? The answer 
will be. That Jehovah hath established Zion ; and the poor, — 
the meek and humble, — of His people shall trust in it. 

This is the merciful purpose of all God's judgments on the 
Nations of the Earth. His design in all these visitations is — 
that all men should magnify His Name, and fear His Majesty, 
and should adore His love to His Church, and should ac- 
knowledge, with one heart and voice, that " the Lord hath 
founded Zion," and should be united together in it, and 
should dwell there in meekness and love as brethren in Christ. 
Cp. Ps. kxxvii. 1. 5; cxxxii. 12—15. Matt. xi. 28. Heb. 
xii. 22. 

The Bfkden of Moab. 

Ch. XV.] Moab had been subdued by Israel under Saul 
(1 Sam. xiv. 47) and David (2 Sam. viii. 2), and had paid tribute 
to the kings of Israel in the days of Ahab, after whose death it 
revolted (2 Kings i. 1 ; iii. 4, 5). 

Moab, joined with Ammon and other tribes, invaded Judah 
in the days of Jehoshaphat, who gained a signal victory over 
them, and returned to Jerusalem with praise and thanksgiving 
from the Valley of Berachah. See 2 Chron. xx. 1—30. 

In 2 Kings iii. 4 — 27, we have another record of victories 
gained over Moab by Jehoshaphat in conjunction with 
Jehoram, son of Ahab, in the country of Moab itself. 

In the reign of Jehu, the domination of Israel over Moab 
was weakened by the incursions of the Syrians, who occupied 
a large part of that country (2 Kings x. 32, 33) ; but it seems 
to have been recovered to Israel by Jeroboam II. (2 Kings 
xiv. 25). 

The deportation of the eastern tribes of Israel by Pul in 
B.C. 770, and by Tiglath-pileser in B.C. 740, gave an opportunity 
to Moab to attempt to assert its former dominion. 

It may be conjectured, that the humiliation of Moab, 
which is predicted to take place in three years (xvi. 14), was 
effected in part by Tiglath-pileser about B.C. 740, who carried 
away the tribes on the east of Jordan, the Reubenites, 
Gadites, and half-tribe of Manasseh (1 Chron. v. 26), and who 
appears to have passed on to the south, and to have reduced 
the Arab tribes who inhabited the Sinaitic desert as far as 
the borders of Egypt, and to have set an Assyrian governor 
over them. And he received tribute, as he informs us in an 
inscription still extant, not only from Ahaz, King of Judah 
(cp. 2 Kings xvi. 10), but also from the Moabites, Ammonites, 
and Idumceans (see Raiolinson, Ancient Monarchies, ii. 399). 
In an inscription of Sennacherib (p. 44, Oppert), a king of 
Moab is mentioned as having done homage to him. It seems, 
therefore, that the subjection of Moab to Assyria lasted till 
the time of the destruction of Sennacherib's army, in the 
seventeenth year of the reign of Hezekiah and that Isaiah 

]\foah shall he spoiled 

ISAIAH XV. 2—7. 

hy invading armies. 





b Num. 21. 28. 

H Or, cut off. 

cch. 16. 12. 

d See Lev. 21. 5. 
ch. 3. 24. & 
22. 12. 
Jer. 47. 5. & 
48. 1, 37, 38. 
Ezek. 7. 18. 
e Jer. 48. 38. 
t Heb. descend- 
ing into weeping, 
or, coming down 
with weeping. 
f ch. 16. 9. 

Kch. 16. 11. 
Jer. 48. 31. 
II Or, to the 
borders thereof, 
even to Zoar, as 
(in heifer, 
h ch. 16. 14. 
Jer. 48. 34. 
i Jer. 48. 5. 
t Heb. breaking. 

k Num. 32. 36. 
t Heb. desola- 

Because in the niglit '' Ar of Moab is laid waste, 

And II brought to silence ; 

Because in the night Kir of Moab is laid waste, 

And brought to silence ; 
2 " He is gone up to Bajith, and to Dibon, the high places, to weep : 

Moab shall howl over Nebo, and over Medeba : 

^ On all their heads shall he baldness, and every beard cut off. 
^ In their streets they shall gird themselves with sackcloth : 

^ On the tops of their houses, and in their streets, 

Every one shall howl, f weeping abundantly. 
^ And Heshbon shall cry, ^ and Elealeh : 

Their voice shall be heard even unto Jahaz : 

Therefore the armed soldiers of Moab shall cry out ; 

His life shall be grievous unto him. 
^ ^ My heart shall cry out for Moab ; 

II His fugitives shall flee unto Zoar, 

An ^ heifer of three years old. 

For ' by the mounting up of Luhith with weeping shall they go it up ; 

For in the way of Horonaim they shall raise up a cry of f destruction. 
° For the waters " of Nimrim shall be f desolate : 

For the hay is withered away. 

The grass faileth, there is no green thing. 
7 Therefore the abundance they have gotten, 

And that which they have laid up. 

looks forward to that event as bnnging consolation and respite 
to Moab. See xvi. 5 ; and cp. /S. Jerome here, who connects 
this prophecy with the times of Sennacherib, and refers that 
of Jeremiah (chap, xlviii.) concerning Moab to the days of 
Nebuchadnezzar. The adoption of Isaiah's language by Jeremiah 
is a strong argument for the genuineness and inspiration of this 
prophecy. Cp. Kueper's Jeremias : Berlin, 1837, pp. 83 — 93. 

With regard to the particular form of hostility to God 
and to His People that is symbolized by Moab, see Prelim. 
Note to chap, xiii., and below, on xxvi. 10. 

1. Ar of Moab^ I. e. cifi/ of Moab. Ar is a Moabitish 
form of the word ir (city), and appears in Areopolis ; Oesen. 
650, supposes Ar of Moab to be the same city as Areopolis, 
the capital of Moab, on the south of Arnon, now called Rabba. 
So Reland, Burckhardt. 

— brought to silence'] Wasted, destroyed, cut off; and so 
usually rendered in our Version (Hos. iv. 6 ; x. 7. 15 ; Obad. 5. 
Oesen. 202). 

— Kir] Literally, a fortress (connected with the word 
Kirjath, which enters into numerous Hebrew names), now 
KereJc, where is still a village, with a castle on a rock, about 
3000 feet above the level of the sea, on the south-east of the 
Dead Sea (Grove, B. D. ii. 43), about six miles south of Sabba. 
Cp. 2 Kings iii. 25 ; and below, xvi. 7. The Prophet's description 
proceeds northward from the southern extremity of the country 
of Moab. 

2. Bajith] The temple-house of Chemosh (Oesen. 116; 
Delitzsch, Grove). Cp. Jer. xlviii. 13. 

— Dibon— Nebo— Medeba] To the north of the river 
Arnon. See Num. xxi. 30; xxxii. 3. 33, 34. Josh. xiii. 7. 9. 

4. Heshbon — Elealeh — Jahaz] Now Husbon, El-al, and 
Jahza. See Num. xxi. 23. 27; xxxii. 3. 37. Deut. ii. 32. All 
these were further north than the places before mentioned. 

— His life shall be grievous] His soul shall tremble for 
hivi (Gesen. 369). 

5. My heart shall cry out for Moab] Rather, My heart 
cries out to Moab : the prophetic spirit of Isaiah foresees its 
future misery. 

Observe the prophet's compassion for Moab, although 
hostile to Israel and to Judah. He remembers the origin of 
Moab, and its former connexion with Abraham through Lot, 

and with the house of Judah in Ruth and in David. See 
Ruth i. 4. 1 Sam. xxii. 3, 4. Compare the sympathetic lan- 
guage of the Prophet Jeremiah (xlvii. 6) ; and, above all, the 
tears of the Lord of all the prophets, when " He beheld the 
city," Jerusalem, "and wept over it" (Luke xix. 41). 

— His fugitives shall flee unto Zoar] The words " shall flee " 
are not in the original; and the word rendered " fugitives," 
which occurs about thirty-five times in the Old Testament, is 
in all other places translated by bars ; and so Vulg. here ; and 
see Jerome. The sense seems to be. My heart cries to Moab, 
to her bars (\\cv strong fortresses, just enumerated, vv.2—4i, 
and military defences. Cp. Ps. cxlvii. 13. Prov. xviii. 19. Jer, Ii. 
30. Lam. ii. 9. Jonah ii. 6. Nahum iii. 13), her strong castles, 
and rocky fastnesses, in which she glories as impregnable. 

The prophet's vision extends to the destruction of these 
strongholds, even to the most southern extremity of the land, 
unto Zoar, at the south-east of the Dead Sea, near the scene 
of the incestuous connexion, from which Moab derived its 
origin (Gen. xiv. 2). My heart cries out to them, and laments 
over them ; for they are all broken asunder. Cp. Jer. xlviii. 4. 

— an heifer of three years old] This also is in apposition 
with Moab, who is compared to a heifer (Heb. eglah) of three 
years old (cp. Jer. xlviii. 34; 1. 11. Hos. iv. 16; x. 11), on 
account of its lustiness and restiveness, and perhaps also here, 
because the moaning of the fugitives was like that of oxen 
lowing as they go. 

The Moabitish king, who oppressed Israel in the days of 
the Judges, was called Eglon, for a similar reason (see Judg. 
iii. 12) ; and the name JEglaim, in v. 8, may be derived from 
the strength and fatness of its cattle. 

It seems probable that this comparison of Moab to a three- 
year-old heifer was familiar to the Hebrew mind, on account 
of Moab's national characteristics, vain-glorious self-confidence, 
and carnal self-indulgence, and gross sensual idolatry. See 
above, note on Judg. iii. 12. 29, 30 ; on the acts of Ehud, and 
the history of Eglon the Moabite. 

— Luhith] Between Ar-Moab and Zoar. Cp. Jer. xlviii. 5. 

— Horonaim] Literally, two caverns : the site is uncertain. 
Cp. Jeremiah xlviii. 3. 5. 34, who repeats Isaiah. 

6. Nimrim] Perhaps on the south-east of the Dead Sea. 
Cp. Jer. xlviii. 34. Grove, B. D. ii. 544. 

Moah is exhorted 

ISAIAH XV. 8, 9. XVI. 1—4. to fear the God of Z ion. 

Shall they carry away to the [| brook of the willows. 
^ For the cry is gone round about the borders of Moab ; 

The howling thereof unto Eglaim, 

And the howling thereof unto Beer-elim. 
^ For the waters of Dimon shall be full of blood : 

For I will bring f more upon Dimon, 

' Lions upon him that escapeth of Moab, 

And upon the remnant of the land. 

XVI. ^ ^ Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land 

^ From II Sela to the wilderness. 

Unto the mount of the daughter of Zion. 
2 For it shall be, 

That, as a wandering bird || cast out of the nest. 

So the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of " Arnon. 
^ f Take counsel, execute judgment ; 

Make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday ; 

Hide the outcasts ; bewray not him that wandereth. 
^ Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab ; 

Be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler : 


II Or, valley of 
the Arabians. 

t Heb. additions, 

I 2 Kings 17. 25. 

a 2 Kings 3. 4. 

b 2 Kings 14. 7. 

II Or, Petra : 
Heb. a rock. 

II Or, a nest 
c Num. 21. 13. 

f Heb. bring. 

7. brook of the tvilloivs'] Perhaps Wadi-sufsaf, which has 
that sense, the northera branch of Wadi-Seil-el-Kerek. See 
on V. 1. The Moabites, panic-struck, crossed the brook of the 
willows, in their flight from the invaders who came from the 
north ; and they passed to the fastnesses of Edom on the 

8. Eglahn] Eight miles south-west of Ar {S. Jerome), and 
south-east of the Dead Sea (Ezek. xlvii. 10). 

— Beer-elim] Well of princes, probably that mentioned in 
Num. xxi. 16. 18, on the northern verge of the wilderness. 

9. Dimon — blood'] There is a paronomasia here, or play on 
the words, between Dibon, called Dimon, from dam (blood). 

— Lions] A lion, the symbol of Assyria. Cp. Nahum ii. 

Moab is exhoeted to turn to God. 

Ch. XVI. 1. Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from 
Sela] Send ye a lamb of the ruler of the land — that is, his 
tribute of lambs— ;/Vo>» Sela (Petra, near Mount Hor, in Wady 
Musa, whither the Moabites had fled in alarm from the Assy- 
rian invaders), desertwards, to the mount of the daughter of 

The Prophet exhorts the Moabites to turn for help to the 
God of Israel at Jerusalem, Who is the Ruler of the land ; and 
to send a tribute to Him. The tribute is to be in lambs, the 
produce of their land; from which, in earlier days, Moab, in 
the days of Mesha their king, had sent a tribute of 100,000 
lambs to the king of Israel (2 Kings iii. 4, 5). 

The Moabites in their alarm had submitted to Assyria, and 
had paid tribute to it (see chap. xv. Prelim. Note). The Pro- 
phet invites them in their afiliction to turn to God, and to pay 
tribute to Hezekiah, the king of God's people at Zion, and the 
ancestor and type of Christ (see Pfeiffer, 367, and Prelim. 
Note to chap. xxv.). 

It is noted in the Sacred History, that Hezekiah abounded 
in riches and honour, and treasures of gold, and silver, and 
jewels, and also in "possessions oi flocTcs and herds ; for God 
gave him substance very much" (see 2 Chron. xxxii. 27 — 29). 
Probably some of these were a tribute from Moab. 

In a spiritual sense, this is an exhortation to earthly 
Powers, especially such as are symbolized by the Moabites (see 
Prelim. Note to chap, xiii.) to be humbled and warned by 
affliction, and to resort to God for comfort and help. We may 
compare the promise to Moab in Jer. xlviii. 47. Here is another 
proof of God's merciful design in national judgments. They 
are intended to wean the Nations of the world from pride 
and sensuality, and to bring them to Him by national repent- 

The Targu^ (m v. 1 and v. 5, see note there) interprets 

these words as a prophecy of the submission of all Nations to 
the Messiah; and there is good reason for such an application 
of them. As S. Jerome says, " Nee est ulla dubitatio quiu 
capitulum hoc de Christo vaticinetur. In omni terra Moab, 
Ecclesiarum trophffia surgentia Christi testantur imperium." 

2. cast out of the nest] Or, a scared nest ; mother and 
young ones together (cp. Virg., Georg. i. 414 ; iv. 17, where 
the word " nidus " is used in this sense). The Moabites are 
invited to find a nest in the house of God in Jerusalem (cp. 
above, on Ps. Ixxxiv. 3), and not to seek for a nest in the 
fortresses of their own rocks. Cp. Balaam's words to the 
Kenites, "Strong is thy dwelling place, and thou puttest thy 
nest in a rock " (Num. xxiv. 21), where the word is the same as 
here. Cp. Jer. xlviii. 28 ; xlix. 16. Obad. 4, Hab. ii. 9. 

3. Take counsel, execute judgment] All this is ironical, and 
is to be explained from the character of Moab as drawn by the 
Prophet in ?;. 6 ; proud and deceitful, — promising much to 
Israel in prosperity, but treacherous in the time of trial. Zion, 
being delivered from danger, thus speaks : " Now, O Moab, 
thou mayest be a covert to thy brethren of Judah from the 

face of the spoiler (Sennacherib)— ;/br the spoiler has ceased." 
This seems at first a paradox; but there is a deep meaning in 
it. " Thou mayest boast now, Moab, to thy heart's content ; 
for we have no further need to put thy fi-iendship to the proof. 
Thou, who wast once so courageous in words, art now spoiled ; 
but we, to whom thou gavest nothing but empty promises, are 
saved ; 

" Therefore resort to us — seek thou for help from the 
throne of David, and from the God of Judah. For the extortioner 
is at an end." 

He foresees and foretells the destruction of the Assyrian 
power under Sennacherib, and the prosperous times of Heze- 
kiah, to whom, after that great deliverance, many "brought 
gifts to the Lord to Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah, so 
that he was magnified in the sight of all nations" (2 Chron. 
xxxii. 22, 23). Doubtless Moab was among the number, and 
was received into the protection of Judah. 

Beyond all, the prophet beholds the peaceable reign of 
Christ; and he sees the nations of the heathen World turning 
to Him, and bringing their tribute to Him in His spiritual 
Sion. The subjection of Moab to Christ, and of other countries 
mentioned in these " burdens " had been already foretold 
by the Psalmist : " Moab is my washpot ; over Edom will I 
east out my shoe : Philistia, be thou glad of me. Who will 
bring me into the strong city ? who will lead me into Edom ? " 
See above, on Ps. Ix. 8, 9 ; cviii. 9. The Targum here antici- 
pates that joyful time by the following words on this passage : 
" Then a throne will be prepared for the Christ of Israel, and 
He will sit upon it, in truth, in the city of David." 

The idols of Moah 

ISAIAH XYI. 5—13. 

cannot save him. 

t Heb. wringer. 
t Heb. the 
treaders down. 
d Dan. 7. 14, 27. 
Micah 4. 7. 
Luke I. 3.3. 
II Or, prepared. 
e Ps. 72. 2. & 
96. 13. &98. 9. 

f Jer. 48. 29. 
Zeph. 2. 10. 

gch. 28. 15. 

i 2 Kings 3. 25. 
II Or, mutter. 

k ch. 24. 7. 

1 ver. 9. 

II Or, plucked vp. 
m Jer. 48. 32. 

n ch. 15. 4. 

II Or, the alarm 
is fallen upun, SfC. 
och. 24. 8. 
Jer. 48. 33. 

p ch. 15. 5. 
6.1. 15. 
Jer. 48. 36. 

q ch. 15. 2. 

For the f extortioner is at an end, 
The spoiler ceaseth, 

f The oppressors are consumed out of the land ; 
^ And in mercy ^ shall the throne be Ij established : 
And he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, 
^ Judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness. 

^ We have heard of the *" pride of Moab ; he is very proud : 
Even of his haughtiness, and his pride, and his wrath : 
^ But his lies shall not he so. 

7 Therefore shall Moab ^ howl for Moab, 

Every one shall howl : 

For the foundations ' of Kir-hareseth shall ye || mourn ; 

Surely they are stricken. 
^ For ^ the fields of Heshbon languish, 

And ' the vine of Sibmah : 

The lords of the heathen have broken down the principal plants thereof. 

They are come even unto Jazer, they wandered through the wilderness : 

Her branches are |1 stretched out, they are gone over the sea. 
^ Therefore ■" I will bewail with the weeping of Jazer the vine of Sibmah : 

I will water thee with my tears, " Heshbon, and Elealeh : 

For II the shouting for thy summer fruits and for thy harvest is fallen. 
'^ And ° gladness is taken away, and joy out of the plentiful field ; 

And in the vineyards there shall be no singing, neither shall there be shouting : 

The treaders shall tread out no wine in their presses ; 

I have made their vintage shouting to cease. 
^' Wherefore ^my bowels shall sound like an harp for Moab, 

And mine inward parts for Kir-haresh. 
'2 And it shall come to pass, 

When it is seen that Moab is weary on '^ the high place, 

That he shall come to his sanctuary to pray ; 

But he shall not prevail. 

^^ This is the word that the Lokd hath spoken concerning Moab since that 

6. We have heard of the pride of Moab'] The Prophet 
returns to justify God's wrath in afflicting Moab. The sins of 
Moab, here set down, were the cause of the judgment upon it. 
Cp. Jeremiah (xlviii. 29), adopting the words of Isaiah. 

— But his lies shall not be so] Rather, his hig words, 
not so; that is, not according to fact; bis boastful, lying, 
treacherous, random talk, which had no reality in it. See 
Vulff., Gesen. 103, and Delitzsch ; and cp. Jer. xlviii. 29, for a 
further description of Moab's national vices. 

7. For the foundations'] For the ruins {Oesen. 85). For the 
grape cakes {Hengst., Delitzsch). 

— Kir-hareseth] One of the principal fortresses of Moab ; 
probably the same as Kir in xv. 1. See 2 Kings iii. 25. 

8. Sibmah] Near Heshbon. Cp. Jer. xlviii. 32. 

— The lords of the heathen] The lords of the nations ; a 
title claimed by the kings of Assyria. Thus Sargon says of 
himself, " The gods Assur, Nebo, and Merodach, have given me 
the lordship of the nations" (Inscr. of Khorsabad, p. 20); and 
BO Sennacherib (on his prism, p. 41) says, " Assur, the great 
Lord, has conferred on me the lordship of the nations ; he has 
extended my dominion over all who dwell on the earth." 

— Theff are come even unto Jazer] Rather, thei/ (the 
tranches of the vine of Sibmah) reached unto Jazer (a lake 
between Ramoth and Heshbon. Jer. xlviii, 32), theg wandered 

or trailed through the wilderness — over the sea, i. e. the large 
lake of Jazer (Jer. xlviii. 32) ; such was the luxuriance and 
excellence of the vines of Sibmah. Jeremiah interprets Isaiah. 
Compnre the metaphor in Ps. Ixxx. 8 — 11. 

9. For the shouting — is fallen] Rather, for a shouting 
(Heb. heydad, which signifies a shouting of grape-treaders iu 
the wine-presses, and also a shouting of warriors who tread 
down their enemies in the battle-field, compared to a wine- 
press. See Jer. xxv. 30; xlviii. 33; li. 14; and the metaphor 
below, Ixiii. 3, " I have trodden the winepi-ess alone ;" and 
Lam. i. 15 ; and in the Apocalypse xiv. 19, 20 ; xix. 15 ; and 
Qesen. 221) a shouting (or war-cry) hath fallen on thy harvest 
of fruits and on thy vintage; see the next verse, where the 
same word occurs at the close. 

12. his sanctuary] Of Chemosh, his god. Num. xxi. 29. 
Judg. xi. 24. Jer. xlviii. 7. 13. 

— he shall not prevail] Moab shall not gain any thing by 
his prayer to his false god. Therefore let him turn to the 
Lord, and to His house at Zion (v. 1). 

13. since that time] Some time ago (cp. xliv. 8; xlv. 21; 
xlviii. 3. 5. 7), whether the time be short or long. All that the 
phrase means here is, that what has just been said is not now 
first spoken, when the judgment on Moab is imminent (lest it 
should be imagined that the prophecy was only a lucky conjec- 
ture derived from the present aspect of affairs); but that it 

IVoesof Damascus arid Israelis AIAB. XVI. 14. XVII. 1 — 8. will bring them to God. 

^^ But now the Lord hath spoken, saymg, 
Within three years, "■ as the jeai'S of an hirehng, 
And the glory of Moab shall be contemned, 
With all that great multitude ; 
And the remnant shall he very small and || feeble. 

XVII. ' The "^ bm-den of Damascus. 

Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, 

And it shall be a ruinous heap. 
^ The cities of Aroer are forsaken : 

They shall be for flocks, which shall lie down. 

And '' none shall make them afraid. 
'^ " The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, 

And the kingdom from Damascus, 

And the remnant of Syria ; 

They shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, 

Saith the Lord of hosts. 
■* And in that day it shall come to pass, 

That the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, 

And ^ the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean. 
^ ^ And it shall be as when the harvestman gathereth the corn, 

And reapeth the ears with his arm ; 

And it shall be as he that gathereth ears in the valley of Rephaim. 
^ ^Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree. 

Two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, 

Four or five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof, 

Saith the Lord God of Israel. 
7 At that day shall a man ^ look to his Maker, 

And his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel. 
^ And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, 

Neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, 

Either the groves, or the || images. 





r ch. 21. 16. 

Or, not many. 

a Jer. 49. 23. 
Amos 1. 3. 
Zech. 9. 1. 
2 Kings 16. 9. 

b Jer. 7. 33. 
cch. 7. 16. &8. 4. 

dch. 10. 16. 
e Jer. 51. 33. 

f ch. 24. 13. 

g Micah 7. 7. 

Or, sun images. 

was revealed some time before, perhaps in the prophecy of 
Amos (ii. 1 — 3) ; and now he adds a special and exact indication 
of the time within which the judgment would be executed. 

14. But now — within three years, as the years of an hire- 
ling'] In which the employer remits nothing, and to which the 
labourer adds nothing, — three years, neither more nor less. Cp. 
xxi. 16, where the same phrase occurs, and Job vii. 1 ; whence 
it may be inferred that the years of a hireling signify also years 
of severe labour and pain. As to the time of the delivery of the 
prophecy, see chap. xv. Prelim. Note, 

BuEDEN OF Damascus. 

Ch. XVII. 1. The burden of Damascus'] The great Syrian 
capital. This prophecy was fulfilled in the destruction of the 
Syrian kingdom, and the slaughter of Ilezin, its king, by the 
King of Assyria, Tiglath-pileser, B.C. 740. See 2 Kings xvi. 9 ; 
and above, vii. 9. 16 {RawUnson, Ancient Monarchies, ii. 
pp 397—399). 

2. cities of Aroer] On the east of Jordan. There were 
two Aroers : one now called Arair, on the river Mugib, the 
ancient Arnon (cp. Deut. ii. 36) ; as to the other, see Josh. xiii. 
25. Both these and the region around them, belonging to the 
kingdom of Israel, were laid waste by Tiglath-pileser, who 
carried away captive the trans-jordanic tribes, a short time 
before his conquest of Damascus (2 Kings xv. 29. 1 Chrou. 
V. 26. Rawlinson, ii. 399). 

3. Ephraim — Damascus] Which had conspired against 
Jerusalem, and were united in a common destruction, as was 
prophesied by Isaiah (above, vii. 16). The people of both were 
carried captive into Assyria : see Amos i. 5 ; cp. 2 Kings xvi. 9. 

Vol. V. Paet I.-49 

5. And it shall be as when the harvestman gathereth the 
corn] Gathereth corn, or graspeth ears with his arm, and then 
cuts them off. Israel was ripe for God's judgment. Cp. Joel 
iii. 13 : " Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe ;" and 
Rev. xiv. 15 : " Thrust in thy sickle, and reap, for the harvest 
of the earth is ripe." 

— in the valley of Mephaim] In the fruitful plain on the 
south-west of Jerusalem, sloping downward toward Bethlehem 
{Josephus, Ant. vii. 12. 4. Josh. xv. 8. 2 Sam. v. 18 ; xxiii. 
13. 1 Chron. xi. 15). On account of the rich harvests which 
were reaped in this wide plain in the sight of Jerusalem, the 
plain of Rephaim is here used as a metaphor for the scene of 
God's judgments. Cp. the words of Joel (iii. 12 — 14), con- 
cerning the valley of Jeho.shaphat. 

6. Yet gleaning grapes] Literally, gleanings shall be Left 
{Gesen. 633). A lemnant of Israel shall return. Cp. i. 9; x. 
21 ; xi. 11. Rom. xi. 5. 

— in the outmost fruitful branches] In the branches of its 
fruit {Vulg.). 

7. At that day shall a man looh to his Maker] Here is 
the final cause and the moral efiiect of the Divine judgments 
on Israel and other Nations, — conversion to God. See above, 
xiv. 32; xvi. 1. 

8. shall not look to the altars] Such as the idolatrous altar 
which Ahaz copied from that of Damascus (xvi. 12). 

— the groves, or the images] Rather, the Astartes (lier 
images and pillars), and the sun-gods (Heb. askerim and 
chammanim). Cp. on E.tod. xxxiv. 13. Lev. xxvi. 30. Deut. 
vii. 5; xvi. 21. Judg. iii. 7 j vi. 25. 2 Chron. xiv. 5; below, 
xvii. 8 ; and Vitringa, p. 506. 

The overtliroiD of Assyria ISAIAH XVII. 9 — 14. XVIII. 1. ivill slioio God's glory. 





II Or, removed i 
the day of in- 
heritance, and 
there shall be 
deadly sorrow. 
II Or, noise. 
i Jer. 6. 23. 

II Or, many. 

k Ps. 9. 5. 

I Ps. 83. 13. 
Hos. 13. 3. 

II Or, ihislle- 


^ In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, 

And an uppermost branch, 

Which they left because of the children of Israel : 

And there shall be desolation. 
^° Because thou hast forgotten '' the God of thy salvation, 

And hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength. 

Therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants. 

And shalt set it with strange slips : 
^^ In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow. 

And in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish : 

But the harvest shall he \\ a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow. 

^■2 Woe to the {| multitude of many people. 

Which make a noise ' like the noise of the seas ; 

And to the rushing of nations, 

That make a rushing like the rushing of || mighty waters ! 
^3 The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters : 

But God shall " rebuke them, and they shall flee far off. 

And ' shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind. 

And like || a rolhng thing before the whirlwind. 
^^ And behold at eveningtide trouble ; 

And before the morning he w not. 

This is the portion of them that spoil us, 

And the lot of them that rob us. 

XVIII. ^ Woe ^ to the land shadowing with wings, 

3, cli. 20. 4 5. 

Ezek. 30. 4, 5, 9. Zeph. 2. 12. & 3. 10. 

9. as a forsalcen, hough, and an uppermost hrancli] Ratlier, 
as the desolation of a thick wood (or coppice), and of a 
mountain top (see Gesen. 58. 310), which the Canaanites for- 
sook when they were extirpated by Joshua and Israel. The 
Israelites, who were employed by God to root out the nations 
of Canaan for their idolatry, shall be rooted out also for their 
sins. Cp. above, on Gen. xv. 16. Num. xxxi. 2 ; and Introd. 
to Joshua, p. xvii. 

10. Because thou hast forcjotten the God of thy salvation, 
and hast not heen mindjul of the roclc of thy strength^ The 
prophet takes np the words of Moses in Deuteronomy (xxxii. 
4. 15. 18. 30, 31) : " Of the Rock that begat thee thou art 
unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee," in 
order to remind thepa that they have been forewarned of the 
consequences of their sin. 

— strange slips'] Strange gods; another reference to 
Deut. xxxii. 16. 

Tlie word to plant, refers to the setting up idolatrous 
pillars and images, and statues, compared to trees. See Deut. 
xvi. 21 : "Thou shalt not flant a grove " (or asherah : see the 
note there, where the same word (ndtd) is used in the original, 
for to plant). 

11. shalt thou make thy plant to groiv] So Kimehi, Aben- 
ezra, and others. Oesenius (785) and Delitzsch suppose the 
word to signify thou shalt fence about it. 

— a heap'] Not of corn, but of ruins. 

Woe TO Assyria. 

12. Woe to the multitude of many people] The prophet 
turns from contemplating the effects of God's judgments, 
executed on Syria and Israel by Tiglath-pileser, King of 
Assyria, to a denunciation of God's anger on Assyria itself, 
under Sennacherib (who came to spoil Judah, v. 14), for proudly 
arrogating to itself the glory of its conquests. 

The mighty power of Assyria, which had been used by the 
God of Israel as His instrument for punishing the strong king- 
doms of Syria and Israel for their sins, was broken by God 
Himself, when it blasphemed Him, and assaulted Jerusalem, 

and menaced her king, Hezekiah, who trusted in God. Thus 
the supremacy of the Lord God of Judah was displayed. 

— the rushing of mighty ivaters] To which the in- 
vading hosts of Assyria have been already compared in viii. 7 : 
" The Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, 
strong and many, even the King of Assyria, and all his glory : 
and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his 
banks : and he shall pass through Judah ; he shall overflow and 
go over, he shall reach even to the neck." 

Thus he prepares the way for the following prophecies 
concerning the conquests of Assyria, in Ethiopia, and Egypt, 
and for the prophecy of the destruction of Assyria itself, when 
its waves dashed against the Rock of Israel in the days of Heze- 
kiah ; which is briefly anticipated here. 

14. behold at eveningtide trouble] Hezekiah said, " This is a 
day of trouble" (2 Kings xix. 3). 

— before the morning he is not] Here is a prophecy of the 
sudden destruction of the army of Sennacherib, described in 
xxxvii. 36 ; and cp. 2 Kings xix. 35 : " When they ai'ose early 
in the morning, behold, they were aU dead corpses." 

— This is the portion of them that spoil us] These words 
may be supposed to be uttered by the inhabitants of Jerusalem, 
when they looked forth in the mornuig from the city, and saw 
the ground strewn by the dead corpses of the Assyrians. Cp. 
below, xxxiii. 1, "Woe to thee that spoilest ;" v. 4, " Your spoil 
shall be gathered." Cp. on xxxvii. 36. 

The Assyrians had taken the fenced cities of Judah, and 
had spoiled Jerusalem ; see 2 Kings xviii. 13. 16. But, at 
last, the spoiler himself was spoiled. See below, ou xxxix. 2. 

Woe to Ethiopia. 

Ch. XVIII.] The three following chapters form a prophetical 
trilogy; they relate to Ethiopia and Egypt. 

The present chapter, which contains a prophetical message 
to Ethiopia, may be explained from recently-discovered Assyrian 
monuments, illustrating the narrative of Holy Scripture con- 
cerning the campaigns of Sennacherib (2 Kings xviii. xix.; see 
there, t;. 9) j and the statement of Isaiah himself in xx. 4, 5 : 

Woe to Ethioina I — 

ISAIAH XVIII. 2. iclio is only a ivhirring of ■wings. 

Which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia : 
That sendeth ambassadors by the sea, 



" The king of Assyria shall lead away the Egyptians prisoners, 
and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked aud bare- 
foot, even with their buttocks uucovered, to the shame of 
Egypt. And they (Judah) shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia 
their expectation, and of Egypt their glory. And the inhabitant 
of this isle " (Jerusalem) " shall say in that day. Behold, such is 
our expectation, whither we flee for help to be delivered from 
the king of Assyria : and how shall we escape ? " 

These words are the best commentary on the present and 
following chapters concerning Ethiopia and Egypt. Senna- 
cherib came with a great army against Judah, and took all its 
fenced cities, aud besieged Jerusalem in the fourteenth year of 
Hezekiah, who induced him, by large presents, to raise the 
siege. See above, on x. 28—34; and on 2 Kings xviii. 13. 

Sennacherib, being thus induced to spare Jerusalem, 
passed southward toward Lachish and Libnah (2 Kings xviii. 
17 ; xix. 8), and thence still ftirther south toward Egypt, — 
which was the principal object of his campaign, — and toward 
Ethiopia (2 Kings xix. 9). 

At this time Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem che- 
rished a hope that Egypt and Ethiopia would overthrow the 
Assyrians, and would save Judah from their grasp. See 2 Kings 
xviii. 21. But both were conquered by Assyria. 

lu the Arabic Version of this chapter, this prophecy is 
well entitled " a prediction of Isaiah concerning the king of 
Ethiopia, whose aid had been implored by Israel, and who 
came forth to assist them." 

In these prophecies Isaiah foretells the overthrow of 
Egypt and Ethiopia, aud warns the king and people of Judah, 
that they must not depend on an arm of flesh, but must look 
for help elsewhere, — namely, to the Loed God of Hosts. 

Further, the Prophet comforts them with the assurance, 
that {/"they trusted in the Loed, then the gi-eat Assyrian power, 
which would vanquish the strong armies of Egypt and Ethiopia, 
would itself be overthrown by the Lord God of Israel; and 
that Judah and Jerusalem would be delivered from his hand 
(see vv. 4 — 7) ; and that thus the might of the Lord God of 
Hosts would be magnified in the sight of Egypt, and Ethiopia, 
and of other Nations of the earth ; and that they would turn 
to Him as the King of kings, and as the Saviour of His people. 
See xviii. 7 ; xix. 8 — 25. 

This was fulfilled in part by the merciful and marvellous 
intervention of the Lord God of Israel, hearkening to the 
fervent prayers of the good king Hezekiah resorting publicly 
to His Temple, aud humbly commending his people and himself 
to the protection of Jehovah ; and by the sudden destruction 
of the victorious army of Sennacherib, which had subdued the 
mighty power of Ethiopia and Egypt, and seemed to be on the 
point of swallowing up Jerusalem as an easy prey (xxxvii. 36). 

In consequence of this wonderful interposition on behalf of 
Jerusalem, many kings " brought gifts unto the Lord to Jeru- 
salem, and presents to Hezekiah, king of Judah, so that he was 
magnified in the sight of all nations from thenceforth." This 
is stated by the Sacred Historian as the result of the mira- 
culous intervention in his behalf when "the Loed saved Heze- 
kiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sen- 
nacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all other, 
aud guided them on every side" (2 Chron. xxxii, 22, 23). 

This prophecy awaits a still further accomplishment — a 
full and final one — in the turning of heathen Nations to Christ, 
the King of kings and Saviour of His People, in the Spiritual 
Sion of His Church. 

The above explanation of these prophecies is confirmed by 
Assyrian records recently discovered. 

In the cuneiform inscriptions, Sargon, king of Assyria, 
who sent Tartan to Ashdod (see xx. 1), and who was the father 
of Sennacherib (his viceroy and leader of the expedition to 
Palestine, as we have reason to believe, see note above on 
2 Kings xviii. 13, and Ititrod. to Kings and Chronicles, p. xxi, 
note), speaks of the expedition to Syria, provoked by the revolt 
of Azouri, king of Ashdod {Oppert, luscr. Assyr. p. 26. See 
below. Prelim. Note to chap. xx.). 

Sargon there says, " Jamau," the king of Ashdod, " heard 
of the approach of my expedition, and fled beyond Egypt, on 
the side of Meroe (Ethiopia). The king of Meroe (here some 
words are illegible). — From the most ancient times his fathers 
had not sent envoys to the kings my ancestors, to ask for 
peace and friendship, and to recognize the power of Merodach " 
(god of Nineveh and Babylon). " But the immense terror 
which my majesty inspired subdued him, and fear turned him 

from his designs. In the Sissi he recognized the grandeur of 
Niiiip (another deity of Nineveh), and directed his steps to- 
ward Assyria and prost rated himself before me." 

This statement confirms the opinion already submitted to 
the reader, that Sargon, the king of Assyria, did not lead the 
campaign in person into Ethiopia, but committed it to his sou 
Sennacherib as his viceroy. We know (from Isa. xx. 1) that he 
sent Tartan against Ashdod, who is mentioned also as an envoy 
of Sennacherib to Jerusalem (2 Kings xviii. 17). 

In further confirmation of the o^jinion that Sennacherib 
acted as the vicei'oy and generalissimo of his father Sargon, in 
the expedition, in IPalestine, Egypt, and Ethiopia, and is called 
in Scripture " the king of Assyria " because he was invested 
with full powers as such, and because he was afterwards cele- 
brated as king (see on 2 Kings xviii. 13), we may refer to Sen- 
nacherib's own testimony in an extant inscription, where he 
describes his expedition to Migron and to Jerusalem (see above, 
on X. 28). 

He there says, " The heart of the inhabitants of Amgarron 
(Migron) gave up their king Padi (the friend of Assyria) to 
Hezekiah the Jew ; and they rebelled against me. Their heart 
feared the kings of Egypt ; for the archers, chariots, and horses 
of the king of Meroe (Ethiopia), innumerable multitudes, mar- 
shalled themselves and marched against me. Their chiefs drew 
up their forces in battle array against me in sight of the city of 
Altakou. I worshipped the god Assur, my master, and fought 
with them and put them to flight. The drivers of the chariots, 
and the sons of the king of Egypt, and the drivers of the cha- 
riots of the king of Meroe {^Ethiopia), were taken alive by my 
hand in the battle." Sennacherib then speaks of the tribute 
paid to him by Hezekiah, in a passage already cited from these 
inscriptions in the note on 2 Chron. xxxii. 1. 

In further evidence of the conquest of Ethiopia as well as 
Egypt, by Sennacherib, we may refer to the Assyrian inscrip- 
tions of his son Esarhaddon ; in one of which he calls himself 
" King of Egypt, king of Meroe and of Cush" {Ethiopia), son 
of Sennacherib the great king, the powerful king, the king of 
Assyria and grandson of Sargon, &c" See above, note on 
2 Chron. xxxiii. 11. 

At first it may seem strange that the campaign of the 
Assyrians against Egypt and Ethiopia should find a place both 
in the inscriptions of Sargon the father, and of Sennacherib the 
son. But if the opinion already stated is correct, that Sen- 
nacherib acted in it as viceroy for Sargon his father, this 
seeming perplexity is solved. The history of the taking of 
Jerusalem by the Romans might well find a place in the annals 
of the Emperor Vespasian, under whose auspices it was accom- 
plished, and of Titus, his son and successor, who acted as the 
generalissimo of his forces in that expedition. 

A learned friend {Mr. W. S. Coxe, of the Assyrian de- 
partment in the British Museum) informs me that a seal has been 
discovered which belonged to Sennacherib, and which exhibits a 
record of his victory over an Egyptian or Ethiopian king; 
and that this seal of Sennacherib does not bear the royal 
insignia, and cannot be distinguished otherwise from that of an 
Assyrian nobleman. It would seem probable, therefore, that 
the conquest of Egypt and Ethiopia was achieved under an 
Assyrian genei'al — who was not actually king at the time. The 
seal has Sennacherib's device— a warrior slaying a lion. Ou 
this question, whether Sennacherib did not act as viceroy of his 
father Sargon at this time, see further below. Prelim. Note to 
chap. XX. 

1. Woe to the land shadowing with tvings, which is beyond 
the rivers of Ethiopia'] Or Cush, i.e. the land beyond the White 
and Blue Nile (which form the peninsula Meroe ; Ps. Ixxii. 10), 
to the north of Abyssinia; in other words. Woe to Ethiopia! 

The words rendered Woe to the land shadoioing with 
icings, would be better translated. Woe to the land of the 
whirring of wings, or still more emphatically. Woe to the land 
(which is only) a whirring of wings. The word translated by 
whirring is, in the Hebrew, tselatsal, and is from the verb 
tsalal, to vibrate, to make a rustling, whirring, flapping, or 
tinkling sound, and is found in four other places of the liible 
besides the present, viz. Deut. xxviii. 42, where it is rendered 
locust (so called from its whirring sound in flying) ; Job xli. 7, 
where it is rendered fish-spear, or harpoon, for a like reason ; 
and 2 Sam. vi. 5, Ps. cl. 5, where it is translated cymbal, from 
its clanging sound. 

The meaning of the words, " Woe to the land which is 
only a whirring of tvings," is this ; Ethiopia made a great blus- 

God's Omnii^otcnce shown 


hi) Ethiopia's overthrow. 



b ver. 7. 

II Or, outspirad 

and polished. 

II Or, a nalinn 

tliat mclelh uul, 

and treadelh 


i Heb. a nalinn 

of line, line, and 

treaJiny under 


II Or, whose land 

the rioers despise. 

c ch. 5. 2G. 

II Or, regard my 
set dweUing. 

Even in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters, saijiiuj, 

Go, ye swift messengers, to "^ a nation I| scattered and peeled, 

To a people terrible from their beginning hitherto ; 

II f A nation meted out and trodden down, 

II Whose land the rivers have spoiled ! 

2 All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, 

See ye, " when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains ; 

And when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye. 
■* For so the Lord said unto me, 

I will take my rest, 

And I will II consider in my dwelling place 

tering noise with its vast armies, coming to^ encounter Sen- 
nacherib, and to assist Judah, under its king Tirhalcah (below,- 
xxxvii. 9. 2 Kings xix. 9. Cp. 2 Chron. xiv. 9 — 14; xvi. 8, 
describing the vast multitude of iEthiopian armies). It made 
n great whirring and flapping with the wings of its armies (cp. 
above, viii. 8, where armies are described as flying on toings). 
But it was mere empty noise — "vox et prseterea nihil," cp. Jer. 
xlvii. 17, " The king of Egypt is but a noise ;" see below xsx. 7. 
Ethiopia could not render to Judah (who looked to it for help) 
that only service which is expected from wings— she would not 
give to it any protection. iEthiopia would be like a bird wheeling 
aloft in the air over its nest, with the whirring sound of a great 
flajjpiug of wings, but not able to save its own young from the 
destroying eagle — Assyria. Nay, iEthiopia herself would be a 
prey to Sennacherib; therefore, TFoe to it — alas for itl 

This sense is illustrated by St. Paul's expression (1 Cor. 
xiii. 1), a tinkling, or rather a clanging, cymbal — something 
that makes a great noise, but has no substance in it. The word 
rendered whirring is (as has been already noticed) sometimes 
translated egmhal. iEthiopia was only a clanging cymbal — it 
made a great din in the ears of Judah, but was of no use. 

This does not exhaust the sense of this poetical expression. 
The prophet means to convey by it a severe rebuke to Judah, 
for looking to JSthiopia for help, instead of trusting to the 
Lord of Hosts — the God of Israel. There is a noble contrast 
between iEthiopia, rushing northward with the flapping and 
whirring of the wings of her multitudinous armies, and the 
Lord of Hosts sitting in quiet Majesty, taking Sis rest {v. 4), 
enthroned on the wings of the Cherubim in the Holy of Holies, 
in the Temple of Jerusalem, where He is a shadoio to His 
people. See xxv. 4, where the contrast is displayed. 

This contrast is brought out by the two Hebrew words 
tselatsal, a whirring, and isel, a shadow. 

What folly was it in Jerusalem to look for succour to 
Jithiopia (which only made a whirring with its wings, but 
could not afford any shelter, and was itself to be destroyed by 
the Invader), instead of resorting for succour and protection to 
the Lord of Hosts, Who had chosen Jerusalem for His own 
abode, and Who sat there on the Mercy-seat between the wings 
of the Cherubim ! and of Whom the Psalmist had said (as 
S. Jerome here well observes), " He that dwelleth in the secret 
place of the Most High shall abide under the shadoio of the 
Almighty. . He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under 
His icings shalt thou trust" (Ps. xci. 1, 4). 

Isaiah himself suggests this interpretation when he says, 
" Woe to the rebellious children, that take counsel, but not of 
Me ; that trust in the shadow of Egypt ;" " The trust in the 
shadow of Egypt shall be your confusion " (xxx. 1. 3) ; and the 
same might be said of .Ethiopia. And he suggests also the con- 
trast by adding, " As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts 
defend Jerusalem " (xxxi. 5). 

And the good king of Judah, Hezekiah (who before had 
bought off Sennacherib by bribes), had learnt this lesson of 
trust in the Lord, when, being afterwards menaced by Sen- 
nacherib, he fled for succour to the Temple (which he had 
formerly stripped of its gold for a gift to the Invader), and 
prayed, "O Lord God of Israel, which dwcUest between the 
Cherubiras " (lit. Who sittest on the Cherubim), " Thou art 
the God, even Thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. 
Lord, bow down Thine ear, and hear : open. Lord, Thine eyes, 
and see " (2 Kings xix. 15, 16). 

One of the best commentaries on this contrast of earthly 
nnd heavenly wings, is afforded by Dan. ix. 27, compai-ed 

with Matt. xxiv. 15. See the notes below on the latter passage, 
where it is sho\vn that Jerusalem was eventually overshadowed 
by a desolating wing, because she would not rest for protection 
under the ivings of the Cherubim, and under His wings Who 
dwelt upon them. Christ would have sheltered her " as a hen 
gathereth her chickens under her icings, but she would not " 
— therefore her house was left to her desolate (Matt, xxiii. 37).' 

2. by the sea, even in vessels of bulrushes^ Heb. gome, the 
papyrus, of which boats were made. See note above, on Exod. 
ii. 3. Job viii. 11 ; cp. below, xix. 6. 

^Ethiopia had sent promises of help to Judah when Judah 
was menaced by Assyria. But Isaiah has now a message of 
woe to ^Ethiopia ; and he has also an exhortation for her ; to 
turn to the God of Judah for help for herself. 

— the sea'] (Heb. yam) is put in apposition with the waters, 
and probably here signifies the great feeders of the Nile (which 
is called a sea, xix. 5) ; especially the "White Nile and Blue 
Nile, each of which is called a bahr, or sea, at the present day. 
See below, on xix. 5. 

— saying] This word, not in the original, ought to be 
omitted ; what follows is the message of God, by the prophet, 
to Ethiopia. So Vulg., Targwn, and the other Versions make 
a break here, and begin a new sentence : " Go, ye swift mes- 
sengers," i. e. to iEthiopia. 

— to a nation scattered and peeled] Rather, to a nation 
tall in stature, lit. drawn out, extended to a great height 
{Fuerst, 878 ; Oesen. 516 ; Sengst., Delitzsch), and polished, 
shining, beautiful {Fuerst, 788. 868), or perhaps sharpened and 
made fierce (Gesen. 509) ; a nation like "spears and arrows," 
tall and sharp. The Ethiopians were celebrated for their lofty 
stature and beauty {Herod, iii. 20), cp. below, xlv. 14, " Ethiopia 
and the Sabeans, men of stature." 

— A nation meted out and trodden down] Lit. a nation 
of line and line, and of treading down; a nation which in- 
vades other countries, and metes them out with a line (Heb. 
kav ; see 2 Kings xxi. 13, and below, xxxiv. 11, the line of 
destruction and alienation), and portions out the territory 
which has been trodden doivn by its conquests, Ethiopia has 
spoiled others, but it will now be spoiled by the Assyrians. 

— Whose land the rivers have spoiled] Rather, whose land 
rivers divide {Gesen. 110; Fuerst, 190; Uengst.). Ethiojiia 
is divided by rivers ; but now the invading stream of the armies 
of Assyria will ovei'flow it. See xvii. 13. 

3. All ye inhabitants of the world] The Prophet extends 
his address fi'om Ethiopia to the whole world, and calls all 
Nations to behold the judgment which the God of Israel and 
of the universe is about to execute on Assyria — the mighty 
Conqueror of Samaria, of Syria, of Moab, of Egypt, and of 
Jithiopia ; and which boasted itself invincible, and blasphemed 
the God of Israel, Who is about to punish it for its pride, and 
to deliver His own city and His faithful servant Hezekiah. 

— he] God — whose majesty so fills the prophet's mind, 
that he does not utter His Name. 

4. I IV ill take my rest — in my dwelling place] The Lord is 
still — sitting between the two wings of the Cherubim in His 
Temple at Jerusalem (Ps. xcix. 1), while Assyria is rushing on 
like a flood of waters (xvii. 13), overflowing Egypt and Ethiopia, 
but about to dash itself to pieces on the rock of Zion. 

These words serve to bring out more clearly the contrast 
between ^Ethiopia (to whom Judah had looked for help in vain) 
and the Lord of Hosts, Who was the only defence of His people. 
Ethiopia had made a great rustling and flapping noise with the 
wings of her armies, and God's people had looked to her for de- 

Ethiopia will turn to God. 


The burden of Egypt. 

Like a clear heat || upon herbs, 

And hke a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest. 
^ .For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect, 

And the sour grape is ripening in the flower. 

He shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, 

And take away and cut do\vn the branches. 
^ They shall be left together unto the fowls of the mountains. 

And to the beasts of the earth : 

And the fowls shall summer upon them, 

And all the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them. 
^ In that time '^ shall the present be brought unto the Lord of hosts 

Of a people 1| scattered and peeled, 

And from a people terrible from their beginning hitherto ; 

A nation meted out and trodden under foot, 

Whose land the rivers have spoiled. 

To the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, the mount Zion. 

XIX. 1 The ^ burden of Egypt. 

Behold, the Lord ^ rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt : 





II Or, after rain. 

d See Ps. GS. 31. 
& 72. 10. 
ch. 16. I. 
Zeph. 3. la. 
Mai. 1. 11 
II Or, outspread 
atid polistied: 
See ver. 2. 

aJer. 4G. 13. 
Ezek. 29, & 30 
b Ps. 18. 10. & 
101. 3. 

fence ; but Ethiopia herself became a prey to the destroyer (see 
on V. 1). Let Judah look to Him Who sits enthroned at Jeru- 
salem in the Holy of Holies, and she will be safe under His 
wings ; and He wiU destroy the enemy — the proud victor of 
Ethiopia and Egypt — Sennacherib. See what follows here. 

— Like a clear heat upon herbs] So Vitringa, Oesen., and 
Fuerst 43. Others render it, lilce clear lieat upon sunshine 
{oroth ; see xxvi. 19), or in noonday, when the light and heat 
are most steady. But the former seems to be the better inter- 
pretation. The Almighty begins with promising a refreshment 
to His people, who may seem to be poor and contemptible, like 
lowly and tender herhs ; and with assuring them that, if they 
resort to Him for shelter, they will be protected from the 
scorching glare of the army of Assyria, which hoped to burn 
them up. He then proceeds to announce His judicial visitation 
on the invading army of Assyria itself. Cp. xxv. 4, 5 ; xxxii. 2. 

5. And the sour grape] Or, when the flower is setting into 
a ripening grape. The Assyrian army will be cut oft' prema- 
turely, by a sudden destruction, like a Vineyard blighted before 
the vintage is ripe. See the fulfilment of this prophecy below, 
xxxvii. 36, and in 2 Kings xix. 35. 

6. Theg shall he left together] The unburied corpses of the 
Assyrian army. Below, xxxvii. 36. 2 Kings xLx. 34. 

7. In that time shall the present he brought] Or, In that 
time shall he offered, as a present to the Lord, a nation tall 
and fierce ; i. e. Ethiopia (see on v. 2), which shall hear of 
God's judgment ou Sennacherib and his Assyrian army (which 
had conquered Ethiopia itself), and shall magnify the Lord, and 
stretch out her hands to Him in prayer and praise j see on Ps. 
Ixviii. 31 ; Ixxxvii. 4 ; and Zeph. iii. 10 : " From beyond the 
rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants shall bring mine offering." 
This eff'ect was produced by the destniction of Sennacherib's 
army and Jerusalem's deliverance : see 2 Chron. xxxii. 23. 

There was a further fulfilment of this prophecy in such 
incidents as Acts viii. 27 — 30. The Ethiopian Treasurer, who 
sate "in his chariot and read Esaias the prophet," must have 
rejoiced when he read this prophecy. The Gospel went forth 
at that time from Jerusalem to Ashdod, as well as Ethiopia — all 
which names find a place in the history of the campaign of 
Sennacherib, as well as in the Acts of the Apostles. The pro- 
phecy has had a later fulfilment in the partial Christianization 
of Ethiopia and Abyssinia. See Dr. Oeddes (Cliurch History 
of Ethiopia, London, 1696), who says, in pp. 3 — 5, " The head 
of the Nile, which was so long reckoned among the chief secrets 
of Nature, is now known certaiidy to be in a lake wliich is filled 
by the summer rains." Perhaps the prophet refers to these 
tributaries in v. 1. In p. 7 Dr. Oeddes says, " The royal arms 
of Habassiu are a Lion holding a Cross, with this motto : ' The 
Lion of the Tribe of Judah is victorious.' " In p. 10 he relates 
the history of the preaching of Christianity in Ethiopia by Fru- 
nientius and iEdesius, who, having been taken captive, were 
afterwards advanced to high places in that country ; and the 

former afterwards went to Alexandria, where he was consecrated 
Bishop for Ethiopia by S. Athanasius. 

The prophecy of Isaiah still awaits its fuller accomplish- 
ment. May not the recent successes of British arms, under the 
gallant leadership of Sir Robert Napier in Abyssinia, be made 
an occasion for the further advance of Christianity in those 
lands, and in the dark places of Central Africa ? 

Abyssinia is up to this day the only large Christian State 
of the Ancient East (Oesenius). There once existed in Ethiopia 
a flom-ishing Christian Church ; and on the strength of the 
present prophecy we look at its ruins with the hope that the 
Lord will one day build it up {Rengstenberg). 

The Bueden op Egypt. 

Ch. xix. 1. Behold, the LoKD rideth upon a swift (literally, 
light) cloud, and shall come into Egypt] The Lord is described 
as riding upon clouds, when He comes to declare His will and 
power, and to execute judgment ; see Ps. xviii. 10 ; civ. 3, 
and especially the description of Christ's Second Advent, in 
Matt. xxvi. 64. Rev. i. 7. 

This prophecy has been applied by ancient Christian 
Expositors (as Origen, Cyril, and Theodoret) to the Coming 
of Christ in person into Egypt (Matt. ii. 20), and to the effects 
of His Divine presence there, to which Milton refers in his 
Ode on the Nativity : — 

" Peer and Bualim 
Forsake their temples dim. 

With that twice-batter'd God of Palestine ; 
And mooned Ashtaroth, 
Heaven's Queen and Mother both. 

Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shine : 
The Libyc Hammon shrinks his horn ; 
In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Thammuz mouru. 

" And sullen Moloch, fled, 
Hath left in shadows dread 

His burning idol all of blackest hue i 
In vain with cymbals' ring 
They call the grisly king, 

In dismal dance about the furnace blue j 
Tlie brutish gods of Nile as fast, 
I sis, and Orus, and the dog Anubis, haste. 

" Nor is Osiris seen 
In Memphian grove or green. 

Trampling the unshow'red grass with lowings loud; 
Nor can he be at rest 
Within his sacred chest ; 

Nought but profoundest hell can be his shroud j 
In vain with tirabrcl'd anthems dark 
The sable stoled sorcerers bear his worshipt ark. 

The idolatry of Egypt 


liill he destroyed. 

c Exod. 12. 12. 
Jer. 43. 12. 
+ Heb. mingle. 
d Judg. 7. 22. 

1 Sam. 14. 10, 20. 

2 Chron. 20. 23. 

t lleb. shall be 


1 Heb. swallow 


ech. 8. 19. & 

47. 12. 

II Or, shul up. 
f ch. 20. 4. 
Jer. 46. 2(i. 
JKzek. 29. 19. 

p Jer. 51. 3G. 
Kzek. 30. 12. 

h 2 Kings 19. 21. 

And '^ the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, 

And the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it. 
- And I will f ^ set the Egyptians against the Egyptians : 

And they shall fight every one against his brother, 

And every one against his neighbour ; 

City against city, 

And kingdom against kingdom. 
^ And the spirit of Egypt | shall fail in the midst thereof ; 

And I will t destroy the counsel thereof : 

And they shall ^ seek to the idols, and to the charmers, 

And to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards. 
^ And the Egyptians vn.l\ I [j give over ^ into the hand of a cruel lord ; 

And a fierce king shall rule over them, 

Saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts. 
^ ^ And the waters shall fail from the sea. 

And the river shall be wasted and dried' up. 
^ And they shall turn the rivers far away ; 

And the brooks '' of defence shall be emptied and dried up : 

The reeds and flags shall wither. 
"^ The paper reeds by the brooks, by the mouth of the brooks, 

" He feels from Juda's land. 
The dreaded Infant's hand ; 

The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn ; 
Nor all the gods beside 
Longer dare abide, 

Nor Typlion huge ending in snaky twine ; 
Our Babe, to show His Godhead true. 
Can in His swaddling bands control the damned crew." 

{Milton's Ode on the Morning of Christ's Nativity.) 

Doubtless the range of Isaiah's prophecy extends to that 
event, which was the first manifestation of Christ's presence 
and power in Egypt — a presence and a power which afterwards 
showed itself in the glorious consummation which the Prophet 
anticipates in vv. 19, 20, and 21, namely, the difl'usion of the 
Gospel, by the ministry of the Church planted in that country, 
and in the Egypt of heathenism generally {S. SippoL, in Esai. 
§ 55). 

In this respect the prophecy concerning Egypt is to be 
compared with the preceding ones concerning Philistia (xiv. 
29 — 32), and Moab (xv. 1 — 9; xvi. 1 — 14), Damascus and 
Israel (xvii. 1 — 8), Ethiopia (xviii. 1 — 7). The final cause of 
all God's judicial visitations on these nations was a merciful 
one, namely, that His Name might be magnified, and that they 
might turn from their idols to Him. 

— And the idols of Egitpt shall he moved^ As of old, in the 
days of Pharaoh, when God said, " Against all the gods of 
Egypt I will execute judgment : I am the Lord " (Exod. 
xii. 12). 

2— 4. J ivill set the Egyptians against the ^Egyptians — 
Ami the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel 
lord^ Egypt, so celebrated for her wisdom, will be distracted, 
and she will resort in vain to her counsellors, and to her idols, 
her nothings (Heb. elilim, v. 1), and to her sorcerers and 
soothsayers; and the result of all her perplexity and inquiry 
will be, that she will be given over into the hand of a cruel 

By such visitations as these, Almighty God mercifully 
weaned the Egyptians from their reliance on their magicians 
and false gods, who could not help them in their distress ; and 
He prepared them for a better faith. 

Who was this " cruel lord " ? 

Some suppose that the prophecy was fulfilled by Psam- 
metichus, who combined the twelve rival states of Egypt under 
liis sway, B.C. 670. See Herod, ii. 152, 153. Cp. Diodorus 
iSieiilus, i. c. 66. 

It is, indeed, probable that Isaiah is here foretelling the 
civil war under the twelve rival princes; but we have no 
evidence that Psammetichus was "a cruel lord," or that he 
was the cause of any consternation to the idols of Egypt. 

It is much more probable that Isaiah here passes on to 
predict the invasion of Egypt by the son of Cyrus, Cambyses, 
whose actions in Egypt, as described by Herodotus (iii. 1 — 35), 
correspond to that title, and who was called by the Persians 
5e(r7roT?7s, or lord, as contrasted with his father Cyrus, whom 
they called father {Herod, iii. 89). Cambyses is described 
hy Ainmianus (xvii. 4), as " alieui cupidus, et imuianis;" and 
he showed his rage in a remarkable manner, not only against 
the people of Egypt, but also against their idols {Herod, iii. 
26-29. Cp. 37, 38). The Sept., Vulg., Syriac, and Arabic 
Versions have here cntel lords, in the plural ; and they pro- 
bably applied this prophecy to the oppression of Egyi)t, not 
only by Cambyses, but by many of his successors — Xerxes, 
Artaxerxes Longimanus, Artaxerxes Mnemon, and especially 
Ochus, whose ti'eatment of the Egyptians was so tyrannical, 
that it excited a conspiracy against him, in which he perished 
{Diod. Sic. xvii. 5; .^lian, Var. Hist., vi. 8; Vitringa, p. 557. 

This interpretation is the more probable, because the 
Persian invasions of Egypt, and the subsequent conquests of 
Alexander the Great in that country, and the settlement of 
the Macedonian dynasty, under the Ptolemies, were links in a 
chain of God's mysterious and merciful dispensations to Egypt, 
whereby He overthrew Idolatry, and opened the way for the 
estabhshment of True Religion there. See vv. 19 — 21. Cp. 
Ezekicl's prophecies (xxix. — xxxii.) on the eS'ects of Nebuchad- 
nezzar's conquests in Egypt. 

5. from the sea'] Heb. yam; that is, the river Nile. Cp. 
Nahum iii. 8. The Euphrates is called a sea, xxvii. 1. Cp. 
Jer. li. 36. Ezek. xxxii. 2. Zech. x. 11 ; and Geseniiis, 350. 
The failure of the inundation of the Nile is mentioned as being 
the cause of dearth and famuie to the country. The Nile, 
being the source of her plenty, was worshipped by the Egyp- 
tians; and the divine judgment on the Nile was like a smiting 
of her god. See above, on Exod. vii. 15. 17. 

6. And they shall turn the rivers far away] Or, the rivers 
shall send forth a stench, from the stagnant slime into which 
they will subside {Gesen.2h0). Or, they shall floio away and 

fail (according to Sept., Vulg.,-' Syriac, Arabic, and Mierst, 
399) ; and this seems the best rendering. 

— of defence] Heb. matsor ; perhaps used here to signify 
Tlgypt, properly Lower Egypt. Compare 2 Kings xix. 24. 
Micah vii. 12. Bochart, Vitringa, Fuerst, 855; and Gesen. 
501, who suppose that this word is here a poetical form for the 
dual Mitsraim, which signifies Egypt, as divided into two 
portions, Upper and Lower Egypt. 

— flags] Heb. suph. See Exod. ii. 3. 

7. The paper reeds] Rather, the meadows of flags. Sec, and 
other aquatic plants. Seed-grass in the meadows is called 
achu in Gen. xli. 2 (see note there), and is here called " the 
green achi " by Se2)t. Cp. Job viii. 11, where it is rendered ^«^. 

Eijypt, heimj afflicted, 

ISAIAH XIX. 8—17. 

li'ill turn to God. 

Aiid every thing sown Ly the brooks, 

Shall wither, be driven away, f and be no more. 
^ The fishers also shall mourn. 

And all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament, 

And they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish. 
^ Moreover they that work in * fine flax. 

And they that weave || networks, shall be confounded. 
^^ And they shall be broken in the f purposes thereof, 

All that make sluices and ponds f for fish. 
^^ Surely the princes of ^ Zoan are fools. 

The counsel of the wise counsellers of Pharaoh is become brutish : 

How say ye unto Pharaoh, 

I am the son of the wise, 

The son of ancient kings ? 
^- ' Where are they ? where are thy wise men ? 

And let them tell thee now. 

And let them know what the Lord of hosts hath purposed upon Egypt. 
^^ The princes of Zoan are become fools, 

■" The princes of Noph are deceived ; 

They have also seduced Egypt, even \\ f they that are the stay of the tribes 
^* The Lord hath mingled f " a perverse spirit in the midst thereof : 

And they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof. 

As a drunken man stagger eth in his vomit. 
^^ Neither shall there be any work for Egypt, 

Which ° the head or tail, branch or rush, may do. 
^^ In that day shall Egypt ^be Hke unto women : 

And it shall be afraid and fear 

Because of the shaking of the hand of the Lord of hosts, 

'^ Which he shaketh over it. 
^^ And the land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt, 





t Heb. and Shalt 

not be. 

i 1 Kings 10. 28. 
Prov. 7. 16. 

II Or, while teorks 

t Heb. foun- 


t Heb. of living 


k Num. 13. 22. 

1 1 Cor. 1. 20. 

II Or, governors. 
t Heb. corners. 

t Heb. a spirit 
of perverseness. 
n 1 Kings 22. 22, 
ch. 29. 10. 

p Jer. 51. 30. 
Nahum 3. 13. 

q ch. U. 15. 

9. thei/ that weave neticorks'] Rather, thej/ that iveave linen 
stuffs (Gesen. 267). The foregoing verses describe the failure 
of the corn crops of Egypt, by reason of the drought of the 
Nile; and the failure of its fisheries, on which its population 
depended in great measure for support (Num. xi. 5) ; and now 
the prophet speaks of the failure of its linen and cotton manu- 
factures. Cp. 1 Kings X. 28. Prov. vii. 16. Ezek. xxvii. 7. 

10. the^ shall be broken in the purposes thereof^jisK\ 
Rather, the pillars (Heb. shathoth) of the realm — the princes 
and mighty men (cp. Ps. xi. 3 ; Gesen. 8.52 ; Ftierst, 1451 j 
and see Gal. ii. 9. 1 Tim. iii. 15. Rev. iii. 12) shall be broken; 
and all they that work for hire shall be beat down (Heb. agem, 
an adjective signifying bent like a reed, agmCn. Gesen. 11; 
Fuerst, 19) in soul. See also Sept. here. 

11. Zoan'] Tanis, at the north-east of Egypt (Num. xiii. 22. 
Ps, Ixxviii. 43). 

— The counsel — brutish] Rather, even the wise counsellors 
of Pharaoh — their counsel is infatuated. The Egyptians were 
taught by their disasters that their boasted wisdom could not 
profit them ; they learnt to distrust their counsellors and 
diviners, and were thus prepared to receive a better wisdom 
and a purer faith. 

13. Noph] Memphis, which is a Grecized form of Menoph 
(Moph, in Hos. ix. 6) j perhaps the seat of the Pharaohs in 
the days of Joseph (cp. on Exod. v. 1), and raised by Psam- 
metichus into the capital of the kingdom. 

— the stay of the tribes] The supports and pillars (see v. 10) 
of its castes, particularly its mihtary and priestly castes. The 
word rendered stay, is pinnah, an angular stone, or mural tower, 
at the comer of a fortress. Cp. Zech. x. 4 {Gesen. 682). 


14. The LoED hath mingled] A spirit of dizziness ; as 
a strong drink. Cp. Ps. Ixxv. 8. Jer. xxv. 17. 19. 

15. branch or rush] Namely, high or low. Cp. ix. 14, 15. 

16. In that day] Observe this phrase, in that day, repeated 
six times (vv. 16. 18, 19, 21. 23, 24), These verses are hke 
six ascending steps, which mount upward to Christ. They rise, 
as it were, from a Gethsemane of bitter sufiermg to an Olivet 
of glorious Ascension, and to the Sion of the Church triumphant 
in heaven. The times of the Messiah are often spoken of by 
the prophets as one day, as "that day." Cp. iv. 1, 2; xi. 10; 
xxvi. 1. 

Evangelization of Egypt, 

16, 17. Because of the shaking of the hand of the LoED of 
hosts — the land of Judah shall be a terror] Egypt shall see 
God's outstretched arm ; and therefore the Land of Judah, — 
the Land where Jehovah dwells, — shall be an object of awe to 
it, Egypt must begin with fear ; but she will rise up to love. 

The fulfilment of the prophecies of Isaiah (cp. below, xxxi.), 
and Jeremiah (xliv.), and of Ezekiel (xxix. — xxxii.), concern- 
ing Egypt, — prophecies made known to it by means of the 
Jews settled at Alexandria, and by the Septuagint Version of 
the Hebrew Scriptures (Joseph., Ant. xii. 2; c. Apion, § 4) 
had the eficct of making many in Egypt see that the God of 
the Hebrews had been working great and terrible wonders in 
their land ever since the days of Moses. This intelligence was 
diffused by the vast number of Jews and Jewish proselytes in 
Egypt in the days of Alexander {Josephus, B. J. ii. 18. 7 ; 
c. Apion. ii. 4), and of the Ptolemies, and of the Apostles 
(Acts ii. 10). In the days of Philo, the Jews in Egypt were 

Egypt will become 

ISAIAH XIX. 18—22. 

a Church of God, 





r Zeph. 3. 9. 
t Heb. the lip. 

(I Or, of Hercs, 
or, of the sun, 
s Gen. 28. IS. 
Exod. 24. 4. 
Josh. 22. 10, 26, 

t See Josh. 4. 20. 
& 22. 27. 


u Mai. 1. 11. 

Every one that maketh mention thereof shall be afraid in himself, 

Because of the counsel of the Lord of hosts, 

Wliich he hath determined against it. 

In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt 

"■ Speak f the language of Canaan, 

And swear to the Lord of hosts ; 

One shall be called, The city || of destruction. 
^^ In that day ' shall there be an altar to the Lord 

In the midst of the land of Egypt, 

And a pillar at the border thereof to the Lord. 
2^ And ' it shall be for a sign 

And for a witness unto the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt : 

For they shall cry unto the Lord because of the oppressors. 

And he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, 

And he shall deliver them ; 
2^ And the Lord shall be known to Egypt, 

And the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day, 

And " shall do sacrifice and oblation ; 

Yea, they shall vow a vow unto the Lord, and perform it. 
^^ And the Lord shall smite Egypt, 

He shall smite and heal it : 

And they shall return even to the Lord, 

And he shall be intreated of them, and shall h^al them. 

reckoned at not less than 1,000,000; and the subsequent 
flourishing condition of the Christian Church at Alexandria, 
and along the northern coast of Africa, for some centuries, is 
a further proof that the Divine Visitations upon Egypt pro- 
duced beneficial spiritual results, which began in godly fear, 
and ripened into faith in Christ. 

18. In that day shall Jive cities in the land of Egypt speak 
the language of Canaan] The conversion of Egypt w\\\ be 
gradual. Five cities at first shall speak the language of Canaan, 
that is, shall profess the same faith as the Israel of God. C'p. 
Zeph. iii. 9 : "I will turn to the people a pure language." 
The "language of Canaan," in Israel's prophetic anticipations, 
is the Gospel of Christ. 

— One shall be called, Tlie city of destruction] One of 
those five cities shall be called Ir-ha-heres, i. e. city of de- 
struction. Tliere is a play on the words Ir-ha-cheres, i. e. 
city of the sun, or Heliopolls (the celebrated stronghold of 
Egyptian idolatry) : the meaning is, that the Ir-ha-cheres of 
Egypt will become an Ir-ha-heres, i. e. idolatry will be de- 
stroyed. The Targum well explains it by the paraphrase, " the 
city of the sun, which is to be destroyed." Cp. Sengst. and 
Delitzsch here. 

Hence we recognize the reason why the Septuagint (which 
was intended for Greek and Egyptian proselytes) paraphrased 
the word by Tri^Aiy oceSeK, "city of righteousness." The city 
of idols will become the city of righteousness. The first work 
of the builders of the cities of true religion in Egypt was to 
destroy idolatry, and to lay the foundations of the Truth upon 
its ruins. The Hebrew verb haras is specially applied to the 
destruction of idols in Judg. vi. 25. 1 Kings xviii. 30; xix. 
10. 14. 

There is a similar play upon words in Hos. iv. 15 ; 
V. 8 ; X. 5, where Bethel is called Bethaven, and in Ezek. 
XXX. 17, where Heliopolis, sometimes called On, is changed 
into Aven {vanity'). 


19. In that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the 
— land of Egypt] This prophecy was supposed by many of 
the Jetvs to be fulfilled in part by the erection of a Temple to 
the Lord in B.C. 160, about twenty miles to the north-east of 
Memphis, in the district of Heliopolis, by Onias, who, in applying 
to Ptolemy for leave to build this Temple appealed to this 


prophecy of Isaiah, as foretelling that erection {Joseph., Ant. 
xiii. 3. 1, 2). 

Happily for Christianity, the worship of that Temple was 
abolished by the Emperor Vespasian, at the same time as the 
Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed. From the Macedonian con- 
quest of Egypt, the Jews became powerful in that country, which 
abounded iu Synagogues in the Christian era ; at Alexandria 
the Five Books of Moses had been translated into Greek, the 
language of the world, and were thus made accessible to all ; 
and by this Greek Version of the Septuagint the Old Testament 
was prepared for the use of the Apostles and Evangelists of 
Christ, writing in the Greek language in the New Testament. 
See below, Introduction to the Acts, p. 9. The preaching of 
Apollos (Acts xviii. 24), the mission of St. Mark into Egypt, 
the foundation of his Catechetical School at Alexandria, wliich 
produced such celebrated teachers as Athenagoras, Pantsenus, 
Clement, Origen, Heraclas, Didymus (see Ouericlce, De Schola 
Catech. Alexaud., pp. 102 — 104) ; and the labours of S. Atha- 
nasivis, S. Cyril, and others in that city, are manifest proofs of 
the fulfilment of the prophecy that there would be " an altar to 
the Lord in Egypt," and that the Lord would " send them a 
Saviotje, and a great one ; and that the Lord should be known 
in Egypt." 

There existed a flourishing Church in Egypt ; and although 
its Candlestick is now removed, yet we may cherish a hope that 
the power of this prophecy of Isaiah will again manifest itself 
there. The decline of the Mohammedan imposture opens this 
prospect before us, and leads us to believe that this anticipation 
will ere long be realized {Hengstenberg). 

20. a saviour, and a great one] Christ Himself, Wlio came 
in person as an infant into Egypt (Matt. ii. 14), and afterwards 
by the preaching of His Gospel. See the foregoing note. 

21. sacrifice and oblation] Acceptable to God in Christ, such 
as are foretold by Malachi (i. 11). Cp. Heb. xiii. 15. 1 Pet. ii. 5. 

22. the Lord shall smite Egypt : he shall smite and heal it] 
All the punitive visitations upon Egypt since the days of the 
" critel lord " Cambyses (see v. 2), weakened the faith of the 
Egyptians in their own idols, and prepared them for the 
reception of a purer faith, and may be recognized as tempered 
with mercy. 

The Lord smote Egypt, and healed it. All God's dealings 
with Egypt under the Chaldean, Persian, Macedonian, and 
Roman rule, were preparatory to the diffusion of tho healing 
influence of the Gospel among them. 

Heathen Nations joined in Israel. ISAIAH XIX. 23 — 25. XX. 1. Tartan sent hj Sargon. 

"^ In that clay ''shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, 

And the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, 

And the Egjq^tians shall serve with the Assyrians. 
-^ In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, 

Even a blessing in the midst of the land : 
-^ Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, 

Blessed he Egypt my people, 

And Assyria ^ the work of my hands. 

And Israel mine inheritance. 


\ ch. 11. IG. 

y Ps. ICO. 3. 
ch. 29. 9.3. 
Hos. 2. 23. 
Eph. 2. 10. 

XX. ^ In the year that * Tartan came unto Aslidod, (when Sargon a2Kingsi8. i7. 
the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it ; 

23. Ill that day shall there he a highway out of Egypt 
to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the 
Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with 
the Assyrians. 

24, 25. In that day shall Israel he the third with Egypt and 
with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land : whom 
the LoED of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my 
people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine 
inheritance'] How great and liow blessed a change ! Formerly, 
as history shows, and as we have just seen (see on ch. xviii., 
Frelim. Note), Assyria was the formidable rival and bitter foe 
of Egypt. The armies of the one were ever passing in cam- 
paigns of bloodshed to the other, on a military road, and that 
road lay through the heart of Judah, which was continually 
suffering from the ambition and cruelty of the one or of the 

But now the prophet foretells that Egypt and Assyria will 
be united, and that there will be a spiritual highway from 
tlie one to the other, by which they will be joined in loving 
communion one with another ; and that Judah will be a 
link of holy union between them. 

Observe the gracious consummation. " The Lord of hosts 
says, ' Blessed be Egypt my people.' " Even the land of Ham, 
— the land of the Pharaohs, — becomes God's people, under the 
Gospel; and He says, "Blessed be Assyria," the land of 
Kinirod, and of Tiglath-pileser, and of Sennacherib, and, 
" Blessed he Israel, mine inherttance ." 

Israel will no longer be dashed in pieces between Egypt 
and Assyria ; but, being converted to Christ, it will be united 
to both ; for "out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word 
of the Lord from Jerusalem" (ii. 3). Eahab (Egypt) and 
Babylon are united in Zion ; see Ps. Ixxxvii. 4. As our Lord 
Himself declares, "Salvation is from the Jews" (John iv. 22), 
i. e. from the Messiah, born of Israel. Formerly Israel, Egypt, and 
Assyria were enemies ; but when the Gospel of Christ has been 
revealed, they will all be united as brethren in one faith 
(Brentius). This is an Evangelical promise. Israel will be 
joined to the Gentiles, and the Gentiles will be on a par with 
Israel, in Christ (Euther). 

This prophecy was fulfilled in part on the Day of Pen- 
tecost, when the Holy Ghost came down from heaven at 
Jerusalem, and the "devout men, Parthians, and Medes, and 
Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia," were joined with 
those " of Egypt, and the parts of Libya towards Cyrene," and 
were united together in Jerusalem. See below, on Acts ii. 9, 10. 
It was further fulfilled in the missionary joui'ney of St. Peter 
from Jerusalem to Babylon, and in that of his " son in the 
faith," St. Mark, to Alexandria. See below. Introduction to 
the First Epistle of St. Peter, p. 39. 

It is ever being fulfilled in the Catholic Church of 
Christ. The Israel of God, — which had its origin in Sion, — 
is always the third — the point of union — for the Assyrias and 
Egypis of Heathenism. They are all joined together in the 
Church of Christ, Who is the px-omised Seed of Abraham, and 
of David, the Divine King of Israel (Eph. ii. 14 — 17. Cp. Justin 
Martyr, c. Tryph. § 123). 

Saeoon and Taetan. 

Ch. XX. 1. In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when 
Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ash- 
dod, and took if] This is the only passage of Holy Scripture 
where we meet with the name of Sargon, who appears from 

Vol, V. Paet I.— 57 

recently-discovered Assyrian inscriptions to have been King of 
Assyria for eighteen years-^from B.C. 721 to 703. See the 
Fastes de Sargon Roi d'A§syrie, traduits et publies d'apres le teste 
Assyrien de la grande inscription des salles du Palais de Korsa- 
bad, par MM. J. Oppert et J. Menant. Paris, Imprimerie Im- 
periale, 1863, folio. See above, Introduction to Kings, p. xxi, 
on 2 Kings xviii. 13, and on 2 Chron. xxxii. 1. 

It is observable, that in this only passage where Sargon's 
name occurs in the Bible, he is not represented as coming in jjcr- 
son into Palestine, but as sending another person. Tartan, his 
general, by whom Ashdod is taken. 

In the Assyrian Inscriptions, the capture of Ashdod is thus 
described by Sargon : " Azouri, king of Ashdod, refused to pay 
his tribute, and sent to the kings who were his neighbours" 
(probably to Hezekiah among them) "messages hostile to Assyria. 
Therefore I resolved upon revenge, and dethroned him, and 
placed another king in his stead, his brother Akhimit. But the 
people of Syria, eager for revolt, rejected his rule and set up 
Jaman on the throne. In the anger of my heart, I did not 
divide my army, but marched against Ashdod with my warriors, 
who did not separate themselves from the footsteps of my sandals. 
Jaman heard of the approach of my expedition, and took refuge 
beyond Egypt on the side of Meroe (Ethiopia), and no more was 
seen of him. I besieged, I took Ashdod and the city of Gimt 
Ashdodim, and took away captive his gods, his wife, his sons, his 
daughters, his possessions, the contents of his palace, with the 
inhabitants of his land, and placed there men whom my arm 
had conquered in the country of the rising sun." (Fastes de 
Sargon, plates 5 and 6. Inscr. des Sargonides, pp. 26, 27.) 

Another passage which follows in the same document, and 
which has been already cited (Prelim. Note to chap, xvii.), sug- 
gests the inference that Sargon was not actually present in person 
in this expedition, but was at Nineveh at the time ; and that 
when he says that his " warriors did not separate themselves from 
the footsteps of his sandals," he uses an Oriental phrase expres- 
sive of their loyalty to him, and intimates that what they did 
was done in his name, and that he himself was the doer of it. 

This inference is confirmed by the mention of the name of 
Tartan here. 

That name occurs also in 2 Kings xviii. 17. After Senna- 
cherib had taken the fenced cities of Judah and threatened 
Jerusalem in the foiu-teenth year of Hezekiah's reign, and had 
received a large present from Hezekiah, namely, 300 talents of 
silver and 30 of gold (see 2 Kings xviii. 14, and above on x. 
28), he went southward toward Philistia, where he besieged 
Lachish, about twelve miles to the south-east of Ashdod. 

From Lachish he sent a great host to menace Jerusalem. At 
the head of that army was Tartan (2 Kings xviii. 17). It is 
probable that he was the same person as is mentioned here ; and 
that he was chosen by Sennacherib to lead the Assyrian forces to 
Jerusalem, because he had distinguished himself by the siege 
and capture of Ashdod, which is here mentioned by Isaiah. 

Reasons have already been stated (in the Prelim. Note to 
chap, xviii., and in the note to 2 Kings xviii. 13) for supposing 
that Sennacherib himself, who is known from the Assyrian In- 
scriptions to have been the son and successor of Sargon, king of 
Assyria, was employed by his father as his Viceroy and Generalis- 
simo in the expedition against Judah, Philistia, Egypt, Ethiopia 
and Jerusalem, and is therefore called " King of Assyria " in 
the Scriptural narrative of those events. 

Thus the record of Scripture may be harmonized with the 
Assyrian documents ; and the bold expedient is avoided (to 
which some have resorted) of altering two passages in the sacred 

Isaiah typifies the ccq)tmtij ISAIAH XX. 2— G. XXI. 1. of Egypt and Ethiopia. 

2 At the same time spake the Lord f by Isaiah the son of Amoz, sa^dng, Go and 
loose ^ the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And 
he did so, " walking naked and barefoot. ^ And the Lord said, Like as my servant 
Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years "^for a sign and wonder upon 
Egypt and npon Ethiopia ; * So shall the king of Assyria lead away f the 
Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and 
barefoot, * even with their buttocks uncovered, to the f shame of Egypt. 

^ ''And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and 
of Ec^ypt their glory. ^ And the inhabitant of this \\ isle shall say in that day, 
Behold, such is our expectation, whither we flee for help to be delivered from 
the king of Assyria : and how shall we escape ? 

+ Hel). by the 
hand of Isaiah. 
b Zech. 13. 4. 
c 1 Sam. 19. 24. 
Micah 1. 8, 11. 
dch. 8. 18. 
t Heb. ll.'.' cap- 
tivity of Eyyiit. 

e 2 Sam. 10. 4. 

ch. 3. 1?. 

Jer. 13. 22, 26. 

Micah 1. II. 

+ Heb. nakedness. 

f 2 Kings 18. 21. 

ch. 30. 3, 5, 7. 

& 36. 6. 

II Or, country, 

Jer. 47. 4. 

XXI. ^ The burden of the desert of the sea. 

Text, viz., 2 Kings xvlii. 13, Isaiah xxxvi. 1, where it has been 
proposed by some to read the twenty -seventh year of Hezekiah, 
instead of t\\Q fourteenth year. 

From these considerations also we are enabled to recognize 
the propriety of the act of Isaiah, and the importance of his 
prophecy in the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod and fought 
against it and took it. 

Isaiah is commanded to typify the Assyeian Cokquest 
OF EaYPT AND Ethiopia. 

2. At the same time spaJce the 'LoTm—^'barefoot'] The Lord com- 
mands Isaiah to loose the sackcloth,— i\ic prophetic dark hairy 
mantle, like that of Elijah (2 Kings i. 8. Cp. Zech. xiii. 4. 
Heb. xi. 37) and of John the Baptist (Matt. iii. 4. Cp. Rev. 
vi. 12), — which was worn over the tunic ; he was commanded to 
take off this and to walk barefoot, and thus to represent two 
captive nations — viz., Egypt and Ethiopia — by his dress and gait. 
See V. 3. What he did was only at variance with custom (in 
order to call attention to the sign), but not at all inconsistent 
with decency. Cp. Micah i. 8 {Vitringa, Waterland, Delitzsch). 

3. three years^ It is doubtful whether the words of the ori- 
ginal mean that Isaiah walked barefoot (when he appeared in 
public)/or three years, or whether these words are not to be ren- 
dered " a sign and wonder for three years ;" so the Masoretic 
punctuation, and Vttlg., Syriac, and Arabic. Cp. Waterland, 
"Scripture Vindicated" on this passage, vi. 223 — 232. Isaiah was 
commanded to do this as a visible sign and pledge to Judah of 
the Assyrian conquest and captivity of those nations — Egypt 
and Ethiopia — on which the people of Judah then relied for aid 
(see on vv. 5 and 6) against the army of Assyria, which had re- 
cently threatened and spoiled the fenced cities of Judah (2 Kings 
xviii. 13), and had menaced Jerusalem, and had extorted tribute 
from Hezekiah, and which would soon return to Jerusalem after 
its conquest of Egypt. See on Nahum iii. 10. 

This sign of three years, within which these two great 
Nations (to which Judah looked for help against Assyria, instead 
of trusting in God), would be humbled and led captive by As- 
syria, stands in striking contrast to the i7trce^c«rs within which, 
as the same prophet declared, after Hezekiah's wise abandonment 
of all hope of earthly help, and after his penitential self-abase- 
ment before the Lord, and his humble and earnest prayer to Him, 
Jerusalem would bo delivered fi'om Assyria ; and all the pride and 
power of Assyria, the conqueror of the two most warlike Nations 
of the south, — Egypt and Ethiopia, — would be utterly blasted in 
a single night by the Lord God of Jerusalem (see 2 Kings xix. 29, 
and below xxxvii. 30). " This shall be a sign unto thee, ye shall 
eat this year such as groweth of itself, and the second year that 
which springeth of the same, and in the third year sow ye, and 
reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof" (for in that 
time they would be delivered from the fear of Assyria). " Thus 
saith the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, he shall not come 
into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with 
shields, nor cast a bank against it. By the way that he came, 
by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, 
saith the Lord. For I will defend this city to save it for mine 
own sake, and for my servant David's sake." After the expiration 
of that time, during which Sennacherib had conquered Egypt 
and Ethiopia, and when, elated with his successes, he had ad- 
vanced in person to Jerusalem, which he had before threatened 
by his messengers (who had blasphemed the Lord God of Israel), 
and which he expected to take with as much ease as one 

takes a bird's nest (see x. 14), the Angel of the Lord smote 
185,000 m his camp in one night, and he returned with shame 
to Nineveh. See 2 Kings xix. 35 ; below, xxxvii. 36. 

6, 6. And they shall be afraid — escape'] They (the inhabitants 
of Jerusalem) shall be afraid (lit. shall be broken down with 
panic, Oesen. 315), and shall be ashamed of Ethiopia, their ex- 
pectation (lit. that to which they looked for help, Gesen. 446. 
546), and ofJEgyft, their glory. 

Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem had looked with hope 
to JEthiopia (2 Kings xix. 9; see above, Prelim. Note to chap, 
xviii.), and to Egypt (2 Kings xviii. 21) for help against Assyria. 
But Isaiah foretells that Ethiopia and Egypt will be broken by 
the King of Assyria. And so it came to pass, as Sennacherib 
himself relates in his inscriptions (see Oppert, Inscript. Assyr. 
p. 44, and Frelim. Note above to ch. xviii. ; and cp. below, 
Nahum iii. 8 — 10). And in that day the inhabitant of this isle 
(that is, of Jerusalem, a mere speck of land compared with As- 
syria, and bereft of all its earthly succours, and, as it were, isolated 
and beaten by tempests of hostile powers roaring around it), will 
say. Behold, such is our e.vpectation to which we looked, and to 
which toe fled for deliverance from the King of Assyria ! And 
now that these two mighty Nations (Ethiopia and Egypt) have 
fallen before his victorious arms, hoto shall xoe (who are feeble 
and desolate) escape from his hands ? 

This W9,s the cry of despair at Jerusalem. But in such despair 
was her only hope. The destruction of Egypt and Ethiopia by 
the arms of Sennacherib weaned her fi-om looking any longer 
to earthly powers for help, and raised her eyes to heaven. Ob- 
serve how blessed a change was wrought in Hezekiah ! A little 
while before, he had bribed Sennacherib to retire from Jerusalem 
by giving him the treasures of his Palace and of the Temple, and 
even by stripping the gold from the doors and pillars of the 
Temple, in order to propitiate the proud and blasphemous In- 
vader. But he was roused from his faithless despondency by the 
failure of all his hopes of earthly succour. He was stung to the 
quick by the impious and insolent words of the messengers of 
Sennacherib, and he was stirred by the courageous language of 
the prophet Isaiah j and he went up to the Temple of the Lord 
publicly in the presence of his people, with rent clothes and 
sackcloth on his loins, and he prayed for help to the Lord of 
hosts (2 Kings xix. 1 — 8 ; 15 — 19), and his prayers were heard 
and granted ; and his history stands forth in Holy Scripture as 
a record of the vanity of earthly hopes, and as a lesson to Kings 
and Princes, and a monument of the victory of Faith, triumphing 
by the help of God over all the Powers of this World. 


Ch. XXL] The foregoing prophecies concerning the deUverance 
of Judah from the invading army of Sennacherib, are here fol- 
lowed by a prophecy of the future destruction of Babylon, 
which succeeded Assyria in enmity to God's people, and which 
was permitted to destroy Jerusalem and to carry Judah captive. 
The reason of this combination is obvious. It might seem that 
God's purpose in delivering Judah from Assyria was frustrated, 
if Judah was to be carried into exile by Babylon. The Prophet 
here provides an answer to these objections ; and shows that 
Judah's captivity was designed by God in mercy to bring it to 
repentance, and that Babylon would fall, and that its destruction 
would be followed by Judah's restoration. All this is more fully 
developed below, in chaps, xl. — xlviii. On the genuineness of 
these prophecies and of those above in chaps, xiii. and xiv. on 
the fall of Babylon, see Fusey on Daniel, pp. 268, 9. 

Prophetic Vision 


of the fall of Babylon . 

As "" whirlwinds in the south pass through ; 

So it Cometh from the desert, from a terrible land. 
2 A f grievous vision is declared unto me ; 

^ The treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, 

And the spoiler spoileth. 

*" Go up, Elam : besiege, Media ; 

All the sighing thereof have I made to cease. 
^ Therefore ^ are my loins filled with pain : 

^ Pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that travaileth : 

I was bowed down at the hearing of it ; 

I was dismayed at the seeing of it. 
^ II My heart panted, fearfuluess affrighted me : 

''The night of my pleasure hath he f turned into fear unto me. 
^ ^ Prepare the table, 

Watch in the watchtower, eat, drink : 
Arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield. 
^ For thus hath the Lord said unto me, 
Go, set a watchman, 





a Zech. 9. 14. 

+ Ueb. Iiard. 

b ch. 33. 1. 

cell. 13. 17. 
Jer. 49. 34. 

d ch. 15. 5. 
16. 11. 
e ch. 13. 8. 

II Or, My mind 
f Deut. 28. C7. 
t lleb. put. 
g Dan. 5. 5. 

1. The hurden (oi- prophecy, see xiii. 1.) of (or concerning) 
tlie desert of the sea] Observe the contrast between this phrase 
and that at the close of the foregouig chapter, " this isle" Jeru- 
salem was " this isle," being isolated, as far as all human sup- 
port was concerned, and being beaten by the winds and waves 
of storms dashing upon it ; but the deep waters of God's love 
and power girt it round as with an impregnable wall, and de- 
fended it against all its enemies (see 2 Kings xi.K. 24), as long 
as its king and people put their trust in Him, and not in the 
Egypts of this world. See the noble description, xxxiii. 21 — 24. 

But Babylon, the greatest city of the world, was a Desert 
of the Sea, a Wilderness in a waste of Waters ; her river, Eu- 
phrates, was called a sea, as the Nile is (xix. 5). She relied 
on it for protection ; but it became under God's over-ruling 
power the cause of her desolation (cp. xliv. 27. Jer. 1. 38 ; li. 36. 
Herod, i. 191. Xenophon, Cyrop. vii. 5. 15). The Euphrates is 
said by Herodotus (1. ISi) to overflow like a sea, inXayi^iiv ; 
and Babylon, being intersected by the Euphrates, as well as by 
marshes and lakes, might be compared to a wilderness in a sea 
(cp. Jer. li. 13); and its site was indeed called a sea (Abi/denus 
in Musehius, Praep. Evang. ix. 41 ; see Vitringa), much more 
might it be so called after its fall, which is foretold by the 
prophet in this chapter. Cp. Jer. li. 13. 26. 29. 37. 42, 43 j Diod. 
Sic. ii. p. 68; Straho, xvi. p. 510 ; Arrian. Exp. Alex. vii. 21. 

It is remarkable that in the Apocalypse of St. John the 
Mystical Babylon is also described as in a wilderness, and as 
sitting on many waters (Rev. xvii. 3. 15). 

Babylon is called here, the desert of the sea. All the four 
following prophecies have symbolical titles, viz. " the desert of 
the sea," "the burden of Dumah" (v. 11), the burden upon 
Arabia (see on v. 13), "the valley of vision" (xxii. 1). 

— whirlwinds in the south] To which the invading army of 
the Medes and Persians is compared ; cp. Jerem. li. 1. 

2. treacherous dealer'] Or, the spoiler. Cp.xxxi. 1 {Oesen.lO^. 

— Oo up, OJElam:— Media] See xiii. 17. Cp. xlv. 1. Jerem. 
Ii. 11. 28. Elam had been formerly subject to Babylon, and 
supplied a contingent to the forces of Nebuchadnezzar against 
Jerusalem. See ch. xxii. 6. 

— All the sighing] Caused by the tyrannical oppression of 
Babylon, has been heard by God, and He stirs up her enemies 
against her, see Jerem. li. 11. 

Compare Rev. xv. 10, concerning the mystical Babylon. 

3. at the hearing — at the seeing] Or rather, so that I cannot 
hear, nor see {Sept. Vifr. Del.). 

4. The flight of my pleasure.] A prophecy that the capture of 
Babylon would be at night-time ; and so it came to pass. See on 
V. 5. The prophet has a vision of a night, a season of revelry, 
suddenly turned into sorrow. 

5. Prepare the table — eat, drink] This rendering is author- 
ized by most of the ancient Versions, and seems to be preferable 
to that which has been adopted by many recent Expositors, who 
translate these words in the indicative mood. The change 
of persons is rapid, as often in prophecy. The prophet 


first hears the voice of the King of Babylon commanding the 
great annual feast to be prepared in honour of his god. Pre- 
pare the table — eat, drink. All is safe, give yourselves up to 
mirth and feasting. This is also predicted by Jeremiah (li. 39. 
57), and is described by Daniel (v. 1 — 4), and by Herodotus (i. 
191), and Xenophon, Cyrop. vii. 5. 15. 

— Watch in the tvatch-tower] In order that the city may bo 
safe, while it is given up to rejoicing. Such was Belshazzar's 
order; for the Sledes and Persians were besieging the city; 
but he took no precautions against their incursion into the city 
by the bed of the river Euphrates; indeed he regarded that 
river as his defence ; and the numerous brazen gates, which led 
from the river into the streets of the city, were left open on 
that night, because it was a religious festival. 

In Xenophon' s narrative of the capture of Babylon (Cyrop. 
vii. 5), it is related that the Babylonians had store of provision 
in the city for twenty years, and laughed to scorn the designs 
of Cyrus and the Persians who were besieging it. " After the 
trenches had been dug by the army of Cyrus " (for the reception 
of the river Euphrates, which flowed through the city and was 
to be drawn into them out of its channel), " Cyrus, having re- 
ceived intelligence that a, festival was to be celebrated, in which 
all the Babylonians spend all the night in drinking and revelry, 
took a large body of his men and opened the mouths of the 
trenches which led into the river; and the water flowed in the 
night into the trenches, and thus a way, practicable for his men, 
was opened through the city. . . . He then summoned the chief 
captains of his infantry and cavalry, and said to them, ' My 
friends, the river has retired, and has granted to us its own road 
into the city ; let us enter the road with good cheer, remember- 
ing that they against whom we are going are the men whom we 
conquered when they were assisted by others, and when they 
were awake and sober, and when they were armed, and in battle 
array. But now many of them are asleep ; many of them are 
drunken; all of them are in disorder. Come, therefore, take 
your arms, and I, with the gods, will be j^our leader : and do 
ye, Gadatas and Gobryas, show us the way, for ye know it; 
and when we are within the city, guide us as soon as ye 
can to the palace.' ' Yes,' replied Gobryas ; ' and it would be no 
wonder if the gates of the palace were open, for all the city 
seems to be in a revel on this night. However, we shall find a 
watch before the gates of the palace, for a watch is always set 
there'" {Xenophon). 

— Arise, ye princes] Here is a sudden change of person, 
which is highly poetical. Cyrus now speaks (see the following 
note) ; or perhaps — with reverence be it said — the Lord Him- 
self utters these words : cp. Jer. li. 11, " Make bright the arrows ; 
gather the shields : the Lord hath raised up the spirit of the 
kings of the Medes; for His device is against Babylon to 
destroy it." 

— anoint the shield] Anoint the leather shield, that it may be 
better defended against the weather, and against the missiles 
of the enemy {Vitringa, ch. x. 27, and 2 Sam. i. 21). 

I 2 

Babylon is fallen ! is fallen 

ISAIAH XXI. 7—11. 

The burden of Dumali. 


h ver. 9. 

II Or, cried as a 

i Hab. 2. 1. 

II Or, every rtiijht. 

k Jer. ril. 8. 

Kev. 14. 8. & 


1 ch. 46. 1. 

Jer. 50. 2. & 


Ill Jer. 51. 33. 

t Heb. son. 

n 1 Chroii. 1. 30. 
Jer. 49. 7, S. 
Ezek. 35. 2. 
Obad. 1. 


Let him declare what he seeth. 
'^ '' And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, 

A chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels ; 

And he hearkened diligently with much heed : 
^ And I! he cried, A lion : 

My lord, I stand continually upon the ' watchtower in the daytime, 

And I am set in my ward || whole nights : 
^ And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, icith a couple of horsemen. 

And he answered and said, 

^ Babylon is fallen, is fallen ; 

And ' all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground. 
'" my threshing, and the f corn of my floor : 

That which I have heard of the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have I 
declared unto you. 
" The burden of Dumah. 

7. And he saio a chariof] Rather, and he (the watchmau) 
saw cavalry, or a troop (Heb. receh, see Nah. ii. 4. Vitringa, 
610 ; Oeseii, 768 ; Fuerst, 1298), and it consisted of what fol- 
lows, viz. 

— a couple of Jwrsemen] A pair of riders at the head of the 
troop (cp. Gesen. 693). These riders represent the two Leaders 
of the forces of Elam and of Media, mentioned in v. 2, to whom 
the kingdom of Babylon was given by God, as Daniel declared, 
" Thy kingdom is dividedj and given to the Medes and Persians" 
(Dan. V. 28). The pair of riders are Cyrus the Persian, and 
Darius the Mede. 

— A chariot of asses — a chariot of camels'] Rather, a troop 
(receh, see the former note) of asses — a troop of camels, bear- 
ing the baggage of the Medo-Persian army. Cyrus had a great 
number of camels in his army (cp. Herod, i. 80), and his suc- 
cessor Darius Hystaspis is said to have gained a great victory 
over the Scythians by means of the number of asses in his ser- 
vice {Herod, iv. 129). 

— ivith much heed] Literally, ivith greatness of listening, or 
attention. The watchman on the watch-tower of Babylon sees 
the military march, and listens attentively ; but for many days 
and nights he hears nothing ; at last he cries with a loud voice, 
and announces the fall of Babylon. The suddenness of that 
event is thus marked by the Word of Prophecy — delivered more 
than 150 years before it took place. 

Such will be the fall of the Mystical Babylon. See v. 9. 

Babylon is Fallen. 

8. he cried, A lion] Rather, he cried as a lion, with a lion's 
voice ; cp. Hos. xi. 10. Rev. x. 3. The watchman is endued with 
supernatural power by God Himself (Whose voice is compared 
to that of a lion), and becomes a prophet of coming doom. 

9. hehold, here cometh a chariot] Rather, Behold, here 
cometh a troop of men, a pair of horsemen ; and it (i. c. the 
pair of liorsenien) answered and said. Fallen, fallen, is Baby- 
lon ! Before, he had seen a troop of camels and asses led by a 
pair of horsemen (y. 7), but now he sees a troop of men led by 
the same pair (viz. by Cyrus and Darius), and he answers and 
says, " Fallen, fallen is Babylon ! " 

Observe the order of the words, which is the same as in the 
Apocalypse, where the angel cries " mightily with a loud voice," 
" Fallen, fallen is Babylon," Rev. xviii. 2. Cp. note on Rev. 
xiv. 8, where it is observed that the literal translation is, " Fell, 
fell, Babylon," which marks the suddenness of the fall by a 
single shock — as here. In the Apocalypse the fall is repre- 
sented by the plunging of a stone, like a great mill-stone let 
fall with violence into the sea (Rev. xviii. 21). 

— all the graven images of her gods he hath hroJcen^ The 
Lord Himself has broken her idols in pieces. The Name of the 
Doer of this great work is not mentioned : there is something 
inexpressibly grand and sublime in this silence. Every one 
feels that it is the hand, not of man, but of God. Cyrus him- 
self felt and owned it (see 2 Chron. xxxvi. 23. Ezra i. 2). At 
the very time of her fall, Babylon was engaged in celebrating a 
religious festival in honour of one of her false gods ; and her 
king* and her princes were drinlcing wine out of the sacred 
vessels taken from the Temple of the Lord God of Israel, and 

were praising her gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, 
of wood, and of stone (Dan. v. 2 — 4). 

Application to the Mystical Babylon of the 

Such probably will be the condition of the Mystical Babylon 
of the Apocalypse when her fall is at hand. She will be most 
confident when most in danger. She will exult with joy, and 
be flushed with victory, and elated with pride, when the Judg- 
ment of God is ready to fall upon her. Perhaps, like the 
literal Babylon, she will be engaged in celebrating some great 
religious Festival, with a large concourse of her princes, and be 
praising the creatures which she has made for herself to wor- 
ship, and be provoking God by sacrilegious profanations. Then 
the fingers of the man's hand may come forth on the wall of her 
palace, and write her doom ; and the Euphrates of her power, 
which has flowed on for so many centuries, and in which she 
has trusted as her defence, may be made the cause of her 
destruction. Cp. below, on Rev. xvi. 12, 

10. O my threshing, and the corn (or son) of my floor (my 
threshing-floor)] The Prophet now turns to the remnant of 
the Jewish captives (as the Septuagint well paraphrases the 
words, " Hearken ye who are left, and hear ye zvho are in 
trouble "), whom he sees delivered from their bondage, and 
restored by Cyrus, after the fall of Babylon, to their own land. 
See Ezra i. 3. 

Babylon was God's Threshing-floor, on which Judah was 
laid, like sheaves of corn, to be threshed by affliction (cp. 
xxviii. 27 ; xli. 15. Micah iv. 12, 13. Jer. li. 33. Matt. iii. 12) ; 
but this was done by God in mercy, in order that the good 
grain, the children of His floor, might be separated from the 
chaff", and be gathered into His garner. As He says by the 
Prophet Amos (ix. 9), using another figure, " I will sift the 
house of Israel among all nations, yet shall not the least grain 
fall upon the earth." 

It can hardly be doubted that this prophecy looks forward 
for another fulfilment in Christian times. The language of 
Isaiah is adopted in the Apocalypse by the beloved Apostle and 
Evangelist St. John, who, being taught by Christ Himself, 
reveals a great catastrophe, similar in its circumstances to the 
fixll of Babylon. 

This has been enlarged upon in another place (see below, 
on Rev. xvi., xvii., and on Rev. xviii). In the present verse 
the Prophet suggests the cheering reflection, that as the fall of 
the literal Babylon was succeeded by a great national blessing 
to the faithful Jews who were in captivity thei-e, so the fall of 
the mystical Btibylon of the Apocalypse will be succeeded by 
some great and merciful dispensation to the Jewish people, and 
also to all Christendom, the true Israel of God. Cp. below, on 
Rev. xvi. 12, and xix. 1—9. 

The Burden of Dumah, oe Edom. 

11. The burden of Dumah] The Sept. renders it " The 
vision of Idumcea" or Edom, and so the Arabic Version ; and 
this appears to be coiTcct. Fdom is symbolically called Dumah, 
i. e. silence, desolation (cp. Ps. cxv. 17, where the word is ap- 

Woe to Edom. 

ISAIAH XXI. 12—16. 

Woe to Arabia. 



He callctli to me out of Seir, 

Watchman, what of the night ? 

Watchman, what of the night ? 
The watchman said, 

The morning cometh, and also the night : 

If ye will inquire, inquire ye : 

Return, come. 
" The burden upon Arabia. 

In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, 

ye travelling companies ^ of Dedanim. 
'* The inhabitants of the land of Tenia 

II Brought water to him that was thirsty. 

They prevented with their bread him that fled. 
J^ For they fled || f from the swords. 

From the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, 

And from the grievousness of war. 
^^ For thus hath the Lord said unto me. 

Within a year, '^ according to the years of an hireling. 



o Jer. 49. 28. 

p 1 Chron. 1. 9, 

Or, bring ye. 

11 Or, for fear, 
i Heb. from ilie 

q ch. IG. 14. 

plied to the grave), on account of the dreary stillness to which 
it will be reduced after a period of activity and glory. 

We find similar symbolical names in the titles of others 
among these prophetic oracles, e. g. xxi. 1, " The Burden of the 
Desert of the Sea" (Babylon) (xxii. 1), "The burden of the 
Valley of Vision (Jerusalem). JDibon of Moab is changed into 
Dimon (xv. 9) j so here, the prophecy on Edom is called the 
burden of Dumah. Edom, the strong, the proud, the fierce, 
the populous and victorious, is turned into Dumah, the dark, 
the silent, the desolate. 

The connexion of this prophecy with the foregoing is 

When Babylon wreaked her wrath on Jerusalem, then 
Edom rejoiced in her sister's destruction, and said, "Down with 
it, down with it, to the ground" (see the following note). The 
humiliation of Edom is joined with that of Babylon by Isaiah 
here, as it is in Ps. cxxxvii. ; and the overruling providence of 
God's mercy to Israel, in His chastisements of Babylon and 
Edom, is also made by the Prophet, as it is by the Psalmist, an 
occasion for adoring God's justice and majesty. 

— Se calleth to me out of Seir'] The people of Mount Seir — 
possessed by the descendants of Esau, which is Edom (see 
Dent. ii. 12. 1 Chron. iv. 42. 2 Chron. xx. 10)— will caU to 
Jerusalem for aid. The Prophet foretells that the wild, war- 
like, predatory hordes of Edomite marauders, who were guilty 
of great cruelty to their brethren of Israel in the wilderness, 
and afterwards at the capture of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, 
would be humbled by her afilictions, which form the subject of 
many prophecies, especially Ezekiel (xxxv.) and Obadiah ; and 
which were inflicted upon them by the Assyrians (cp. the in- 
scription of Sennacherib, p. 44, Oppert), Chaldseans, Persians, 
and others in succession (cp. Ps. cxxxvii. 7. Ezek. xxv. 12 — 14; 
xxxv. 2 — 15 ; and see Vitringa, 622) ; and would call to the 
prophetic loatchmen of Zion for counsel and help, and ask of 
them, " What of the night ? " What word of comfort, what 
ray of light hast thou to bestow upon Edom (the land of 
Dumah, or stillness), in the darkness and desolation of her 
night 1 

12. The watchman said — come] The Prophet's voice from 
his watch-tower in Jerusalem (the "Valley of Vision"), whence 
he looks forth upon the Nations of the earth, replies to the cry 
from Edom, and says, " Morning cometh ; but Night (i. e. 
darkness) cometh with it, to Edom ;" — that is, there is no 
cheerfulness in the rays of the rising sun for Edom. But if 
Edom is in earnest, let it inquire for light, not in Edom (the 
land of darkness), but in Sion; let it inquire of the Lord of 
Hosts ; let it return to Him, and come to Sim hy repentance 
and faith. 

If ye seek for my help, and prove yourselves to be children 
of my faithful sei'vant Abraham, then light will dawn upon j'ou. 
Turn to Me with your whole heart, and I will receive you 
(fS. Jerome). 

Here is an evangelical invitation to Edom, and to all 
Nations which have been, like spu'itual Dumahs, in the dark- 

ness of error and sin, and have been enemies to God and His 
Sion, the Church, that they should return (cp. Cant. vi. 13 j 
below, xliv. 22. Jer. iii. 12. 22. Mai. iii. 7), and come to Him 
Who offers to them pardon and peace in Him Who is the only 
Light of all Dumahs— Jesus Christ. 

BtTEDEN ON Arabia. 

13, The burden upon Arabia] Heb. Massa-ba-arab. This 
also appears to be a symbolical name connected nut only with 
arab (Arabia), but also with ereb (evening) ; so it was under- 
stood by some ancient Versions. Cp. Delitzsch here. 

The prophecy refers to certain migratory tribes of the 
Arabian peninsula — the Dedanites, who were descended from 
Abraham by Keturah (Gen. xxv. 3. 1 Chron. i. 32), and the 
inhabitants of Tenia, descended from Abraham by Ishmael 
(Gen. xxv. 15. 1 Chron. i. 30), who are mentioned together 
with Dedan by Jeremiah (xxv. 23; cp. Job. vi. 19). Kedar 
also was a son of Ishmael (Gen. xxv. 13) ; and the people of 
Kedar were the principal tribe of Ishmaelites on the N.w. of 
the Arabian peninsula. All the Ishmaelites are called " sons of 
Kedar " by the Hebrew Rabbis. 

The transition from Dumah (Edom), in the former pro- 
phecy, to Arab in the present, was easy, on account of their 
geographical relations, and because they were descended from 
Abraham, and yet were unfriendly to Israel. They are now 
invited to return to God, in Him Who is the Promised Seed of 
Abraham — Christ. 

— J» the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge] In tJie forest 
in Arabia ye must pass the night ; in a rugged, desolate, and 
devious forest, to which ye will flee from the high roads for 
shelter, being hunted by your hostile pursuers, ye caravans 
of Dedanites (see Geseyi., 358 ; Fiierst, 588) ; ye, whom I be- 
hold routed by the invaders— probably the Assyrians who over- 
ran their country; see the Assyrian Inscriptions of Sargou 
(published by Oppert), p. 22, where he speaks of having sub- 
dued a queen of Arabia; see also p. 55, where conquests in 
Arabia are attributed to Sargon, and his son Sennacherib is 
called " king of Arabia " by Josephus (Ant. x. 1. 4). 

In V, 16 the fulfilment, in part, of the prophecy, is specified 
as to take place within a year. Later afilictions of Kedar are 
foretold by Jeremiah (xlix. 28). 

14. The inhabitants] Rather, Bring ye water to meet the 
thirsty. This is a cry of distress from the companies of Dedan 
flying before the enemy. The inhabitants of the land of Tema 
(are coming) tvilh bread to the face of the fugitive, to help 
them in their misery. 

15. For they fled] The Prophet sees the Ishmaelites 
flying before the swords, the drawn swords, and the bent bows 
of the Assyrian invaders. The Ishmaelites, who were famed as 
archers {v. 17), shall be driven in confusion before the bent 
bows of their enemies. 

16. 17. thus hath the Lord said unto me. Within a year, 
according to the years of an hireling (cp. xvi. 14), — the glory of 
Kedar shall fail : for the LoED Qod of Israel hath spoken it] 

Prophecy oj the capture 

ISAIAH XXI. 17. XXII. 1—5. 

of Jerusalem. 

rPs. 120. 5. 
ch. 60. 7. 
t Heb. bows. 


t Heb. of the 

b Jar. 4. 19. & 
9. 1. 

+ Heb. / will be 
tiller in weeping. 

d Lam. I. 5. & 
2. 2. 

And all the glory of "■ Kedar shall fail : 
^^ And the residue of the number of f archers, 

The mighty men of the children of Kedar, shall be diminished : 
For the Lord God of Israel hath spoken it. 

XXII. ^ The burden of the valley of vision. 

What aileth thee now, that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops ? 
2 Thou that art full of stirs, 

A tumultuous city, ^ a joyous city : 

Thy slain men are not slain with the sword, 

Nor dead in battle. 
^ All thy rulers are fled together. 

They are bound f by the archers : 

All that are found in thee are bound together, 

Which have fled from far. 
^ Therefore said I, Look away from me ; 

•^ f I will weep bitterly. 

Labour not to comfort me, 

Because of the spoiling of the daughter of my people. 
^ "^ For it is a day of trouble, and of treading down, and of perplexity 

'^ By the Lord God of hosts in the valley of vision. 

Breaking down the walls. 

And of crying to the mountains. 

The fulfilment of this prophecy within that time would induce 
the Ishmaelites to acknowledge the divine truth of the Lord 
God of Israel — by "Whose inspiration the Prophet was enabled 
to make this revelation — and to turn to Him ; and would be 
a present pledge to others that Isaiah's prophecies concerning 
more distant events would be fulfilled also. 

The Burden oe the Valley oe Vision ; oe Peophect 
ON Jerusalem. 

Cn. XXII. 1. Thehurdenof thevallei/ of vision'] Jernsalcm (so 
Sept. and Arabic) is called a valley, as being lowly in comparison 
with the lofty mountains of the Kingdoms of this World ; such as 
Assyria, Babylon, and Egypt (cp. on Ps. Ixviii. 15. Jer. li. 25. 
Rev. viii. 8) ; and is called the valley of Vision, for there God 
manifested Himself in visions to the Patriarch (see the history 
of Abraham at Moriah, and the name Jehovah-jireh, Gen. 
xxii. 2. 14, and notes), and to David, and to Solomon ; and also 
in visions to Isaiah and to the prophets (see i. 1 ; vi. 1 — 4), to 
whom He revealed the destinies of the Nations of the Earth. 

Jerusalem is also here described as a valley, because she is 
to be laid low by afliictions consequent on her sins (see vv. 3 — 
5, and Jer. xxi. 13) ; and so this prophecy is contrasted with 
those other predictions where she is displayed as glorified in 
Christ, by whom the mountain of the Lord's house will be 
established on the top of the mountains. See alx)ve on ii. 2. 

The present prophecy refers primarily to the captivity of 
Manasseh, king of Jerusalem, by Esar-haddon (see 2 Chron. xxxiii. 
11) ; but its range extends to the capture of Jerusalem by 
Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians {v. 6), and even beyond 
that, to its siege and destruction by the Romans (<S. Jerome ; 
A. Lapide). The prophet denounces the self-confidence and 
worldlincss which characterized her in both those times of peril. 

Jerusalem and Gehazi. 

It is remarkable that Jerusalem is here addressed by the 
name which had been borne by the servant of the Prophet 
Elisha — Gehazi (which means Valley of Vision), It has been 
already observed (on 2 Kings v. 27 ; viii. 4) that Gehazi was a 
remarkable type of the Jewish Nation in sin and punishment. 
Gehazi enjoyed great spiritual privileges, as Jerusalem did; but 
Gehazi sinned, as the Jewish Nation did ; and the Leprosy of 
the Heathen world, symbolized by Naaman the Syrian, cleansed 
through faith and obedience, was transferred to the Jews. 

But it has also been shown that there is good reason to be- 
lieve that Gehazi repented ; and thus his history suggests a hope 
of the future repentance of the Jews, and of their conversion to 
Christ (see the notes above on 2 Kings v. 27, and on 2 Kings 
viii. 4). And this hope is confirmed by another remarkable 
coincidence, viz. that the future spiritual resurrection of the 
Jewish Nation is symbolized in the prophecy of Ezekiel con- 
cerning the Valley of Vision (Ezek. xxxvii. 1 — 14), where the 
dead bones of the Nation rise up and live in Christ. 

— thou art ivJiolly gone up to the housetops'] To gaze and 
enjoy thyself, instead of going, as Hezekiah did, to the Temple 
to pray, when Jerusalem was in danger. The careless self-con- 
fidence of Jerusalem in the critical time of her imminent danger 
is thus described. Cp. Amos vi. 1 — 6. 

This was fulfilled in the Chaldfean siege {S, Jerome, S, Cyril), 
ahd in the Roman (Eusehius), At both times their hopes were 
buoyed up by the deceitful assurances of false prophets such as 
Hananiah (Jer. xxviii. 1 — 17. Cp. Matt. xxiv. 11. 24), Ahab, and 
Zedekiah ( Jer. xxix. 20 — 24) ; and they despised the warnings 
of true prophets such as Jeremiah (Jer. xiii. 1 — 27 ; xix. 1 — 15 ; 
xxii. 1 — 4; xxxvi. 20; xxxvii. 1 — 4. 2 Chron. xxxvi. 11), and, 
in later days, of the Lord of all the Prophets (see Matt, xxiii. 
37. Lukexiii. 34) — Christ Himself. Cp. James v. 1 — 5. 

2, 3. Thy slain — are not slain toith the sivord, nor dead in hattle. 
All thy rulers are fled] Though thou art confident and secure, 
yet thou wilt fall ignominiously ; thy princes and warriors will 
not even fight a battle in thy behalf. See 2 Kings xxiv. 12 — 16, 
describing the capture of King Jehoiachin and his mother, his 
princes, and officers, and mighty men of valour; and 2 Kings 
XXV. 2 — 7, where the flight of the king, Zedekiah, and his men 
of war is described. 

3. hound by the archers] Made captive by the how — not by 
the sword in a close fight. Vitringa, See v, 6. 

— All that are found — are hound'fogether] As captives ; the 
king and his warriors who fled with him were overtaken by the 
Chaldffians in the plains of Jericho (2 Kings xxv. 2 — 5. 10), and 
his sons were slain at Riblah. Cp. Jer. xxxix. 6. The rest of 
the people in the city were carried away captive (2 Kings xxv. 
11.) Cp. Jer. xxxix. 9. 

5 of crying to the mountains] Of the crying of those who flee 
from the city and hope to escape to the mountains, but in vain. 

This phrase is taken up by our Blessed Lord in the Gospel, 
where He exhorts His disciples to flee betimes from Jerusalem 
(Matt. xxiv. 16. Luke xxi. 21) ; but they who despised His warn- 

Her worldly self-confidence 


in the time of her 'peril. 

^ ^And Elam bare the quiver 

With chariots of men and horsemen, 

And ^ Kir f uncovered the shield. 
^ And it shall come to pass, 

That f thy choicest valleys shall be full of chariots, 

And the horsemen shall set themselves in array || at the gate. 
^ And he discovered the covering of Judah. 

And thou didst look in that day to the armour ^ of the house of the forest. 
^ '' Ye have seen also the breaches of the city of David, 

That they are many : 

And ye gathered together the waters of the lower pool ; 
^° And ye have numbered the houses of Jerusalem, 

And the houses have ye broken down to fortify the wall ; 
^1 ' Ye made also a ditch between the two walls for the water of the old pool : 

But ye have not looked unto " the Maker thereof. 

Neither had respect unto him that fashioned it long ago. 
And in that day did the Lord God of hosts ' call to weeping, 

And to mourning, and '" to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth : 

And behold joy and gladness, 

Slaying oxen, and killing sheep. 

Eating flesh, and drinking wine : 

" Let us eat and drink ; 

For to morrow we shall die. 
° And it was revealed in mine ears by the Lord of hosts, 

Surely this iniquity p shall not be purged from you till ye die, 

Saitli the Lord God of hosts. 




e Jer. 49. 35. 
f ch. 15. 1. 
+ Heb. made 

t Heb. the choice 
of thy valleys. 
II Or, toward. 

e 1 Kings 7. 2. 
& 10. 17. 

h 2 Kings 20. 20. 
2 Chron. 32. 4, 5, 

i Neh. 3. 10. 
k See ch. 37. 26, 

m See Ezra !). 3. 
cli. 15. 2. 
Micah 1. IC. 

n ch. 56. 12. 
1 Cor. 15. 32. 

p 1 Sam. 3. 14. 
Ezek. 24. 13. 

iugs cry in vain to the mountains to cover them (Luke xxiii. 30) ; 
and ill the Apocalypse the phrase is extended to describe the 
awful circumstances of the Last Day (Rev. vi. 16). 

6. JSlani bare the quiver — loith chariots of men and horsemen, 
and Kir uncovered the shield'] Namely, drew it out of its ease, 
"scutis tegumenta detraxit " {Ccesar, Bell. Gall. ii. 21). The 
southern and northern constituent forces of the Chaldajan army 
against Jerusalem are represented by the southei-n Elam (Susi- 
ana), who were celebrated as archers (Jer. xlix. 35. Ezek. xxxii. 
24), and by the northern Kir, the river Cyrus which rises to the 
north of Armenia, and flows into the Caspian. Cp. 2 Kings xvi. 
9. Jer. i. 15. Amos i. 5 ; ix. 7. 

Nebuchadnezzar planted colonies of captives in Armenia (see 
JEusel. Praep. Evang. ix. 41. JEuseh. Chron. Can. i. 10). Sargon 
had penetrated into Armenia and subdued it (Inscr. Assyr. p. 26). 
We need not be surprised that Nebuchadnezzar should have allies 
from it. Indeed, it is distinctly said by Jeremiah xxv. 9 — 11, 
that Nebuchadnezzar would be brought by God ivith all the 
families of the north, against Jerusalem. Cp. Jer. i. 15. 

Elam is here represented as subject to Babylon : afterwards 
it was used by God as an instrument against it (see xxi. 2). 

8. And he discovered the covering of Judah] The Chaldfeaii 
army took away the covering of Judah ; they exposed it to 
shame, as a woman is exposed to insult when her veil is taken 
from her. See Gesen. 489. Fuerst. 486 ; and cp. Canticles v. 7, 
" The watchmen smote me, they wounded me ; the keepers of the 
walls took away my veil from me." 

8 — 11. And tliou didst loo¥\ The words which follow contain 
a prophetic remonstrance against the Rulers of Judah. They 
looked to material helps and mechanical works of defence against 
the Chalda;ans, such as weapons of war in the house of the forest 
of Lebanon (1 Kings x. 17), and reparation of the breaches of 
the City and its walls; and to the provision of a supply of water 
for the city from the two pools of the Upper and Lower Gihon, 
on the west of Jerusalem (see above vii. 3, and below on 
xxxvi. 3, and on 2 Kings xviii. 17 ; xx. 20, and 2 Chron. xxxii. 
30) ; and they made a ditch or reservoir between the two 
walls, i. e. the wall on the north of Ziou, and ou the south of 

Acra. See Robinson i. 487 — 489, and his plan, where a pool is 
marked on this site and called " the Pool of Hezckiah," and in 
Arabic Birket el Hammam. 

They looked to earthly works of defence in the day of trial. 

But they did not look to the Maker of all these, namely, to 
God {S. Jerome), The former things were fit and right to bo 
done ; but they were vain without the latter. " Except the Lord 
keep the City, the watchman waketh but in vain " (Ps. cxxvii. 1). 

The good king Hezekiah did both. When Judah was in- 
vaded, and when Jerusalem was threatened by the Assyrian 
army, he took care to fortify the city and to supply it with water; 
but he looked also with faith and prayer to the Lord God of 
Israel, the Creator and Governor of the World. , See the full 
account of his military preparations in 2 Chron. xxxii. 1—8. 30, 
compared with the history of his pious trust in God, in 2 Kings 
xix. 1—20. 

Ye, men of Jerusalem, ought to imitate Hezekiah in your 
preparations against the Chaldfeans ; but ye will not do so. 

12, 13. And in that day] God called Jerusalem to repentance 
by His prophets, especially by Jeremiah (see above on vv. 1, 2), 
but they would not hear him ; Isaiah foresaw this. Ye indulge iu 
riot and revelry, saying, "Let us eat and drink, for to-morroio toe 
die " so Sept. Vulg. Syriac, Arabic, and Targum ; and so the 
words are cited by St. Paul (1 Cor. xv. 32), who adopts the 
words of Sept, 

This prophecy was fulfilled in part in the time of the siege 
of Jerusalem by the Chaldseans, and much more in its later siege 
by the legions of Rome. As St. James says in her last days, v. 
1 — 5, " Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for the miseries 
which shall come upon you. Ye have nourished your hearts, as 
in a day of slaughter," or sacrificial feasting, 

14. till ye die] The words of the scoSers in the preceding 
verse are taken up, and repeated in a solemn tone by the Lord 
Himself : " Your iniquity shall not be purged till ye die — unless 
ye repent: much less will it be purged t7ien— for then ye will 
die the second death" (see Rev. xx. 6. 14; xxi. 8). On this 
use of until, see above on Gen. xlix. 10, and below on Matt. i. 
25 ; xvi. 28, 

Denunciation of Shehna. 

ISAIAH XXII. 15—22. 

Promise to Eliahim. 


q 2 Kings IS. 37. 
ch. 36. 3. 
r 1 Kings 4. 6. 

II Or, he. 
s See 2 Sam. IS. 

Matt. 27. 60. 
II Or, the LORD 
who covered thee 
with an excellent 
covering, and 
clothed thee fjor- 
geously shall 
surely, %c. 
ver. is. 

t Heb. the cap- 
tivity of a man. 
t Esth. 7. 8. 
+ Heb. large o] 

u 2 Kings 18. IS. 


X Job 12. 14. 
Rev. 3. 7. 

Thus saith the Lord God of hosts, 

Go, get thee unto this treasurer, 

Even unto ^ Shehna, ' which is over the house, and say, 
^^ What hast thou here ? and whom hast thou here, 

That thou hast hewed thee out a sepulchre here, 

^As he ' that heweth him out a sepulchre on high, 

And that graveth an habitation for himself in a rock ? 
^^ Behold, II the Lord will carry thee away with f a mighty captivity, 

'And will surely cover thee. 
^^ He will surely violently turn and toss thee like a ball 

Into a f large country : 

There shalt thou die. 

And there the chariots of thy glory shall he the shame of thy lord's house. 
^^ And I will drive thee from thy station. 

And from thy state shall he pull thee down. 
And it shall come to pass in that day. 

That I will call my servant " Eliakim the son of Hilkiah : 

21 And I will clothe him with thy robe, 
And strengthen him with thy girdle. 

And I will commit thy government into his hand : 

And he shall be a father to the inliabitants of Jerusalem, 

And to the house of Judah ; 

22 And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder ; 
So he shall "" open, and none shall shut ; 


Peophecy coNCEENiNa Shebna and Eliakim. 

15. Oo, get thee unto this treasurer, even unto Shehna] Isaiah 
now returns (as usual) to bis own times. The foresight of the 
reckless infatuation of the rulers of Jerusalem in the time of the 
Babylonish invasion (which took place 140 years after the acces- 
sion of Hczckiah), and in the days of the final siege by the 
Romans, leads him to speak of a similar temper of worldly secu- 
rity displayed by some in high place among his own contem- 
poraries, especial Shehna the treasurer. 

It has been already observed that Isaiah is accustomed to 
follow up his prophecies concerning distant events by a pro- 
phecy concerning near ones, in order that the fulfilment of the 
prophecy concerning the near event may call attention to the 
prophecies concerning distant events, and may attract and keep 
up attention to them, and be a pledge of their future fulfilment. 

So it is here. 

There seems no reason for doubting that this Shehna is the 
same as " Shehna the Scribe," or secretary, in 2 Kings xviii. 18. 
26. There he is coupled, as here, together with " JEliakim the 
son of milciah, which was over the household," the office here 
occupied by Shehna. 

Probably the crafty and ambitious Shehna had contrived to 
supplant the honest and loyal servant of Hczekiah, Eliakim, the 
son of Hilkiah; perhaps Shebna showed himself more pliant and 
obsequious than Eliakim in conniving at the idolatrous abomina- 
tions of his royal master King Manasseh, the son and successor 
of Hezekiah (see 2 Chron. .xxxiii. 1 — 10) ; and Shebna is here 
represented as over the house, and also treasurer, or rather, 
prime minister, grand vizier, literally intimate confidential friend 
and adviser to the king; such as the "maire du palais" of 
earlier French kings. See Oesen. 587. Fuerst. 981. 

Observe Isaiah's words here, " Thus saith the Lord God of 
hosts. Go, get thee unto this treasurer, unto Shehna which is 
over the hon&e. ("and say," this word is not in the original). 
What hast thou herel The words are God's words: and the 
prophet takes great care to premise that they are spoken by a 
commission from Him. Isaiah would not have spoken in such 
denunciatory language to " a rulor of liis people," unless he had 
been specially commanded by God to do so. Contrast the words 
of the Incarnate God, calling a ruler " a fox" (Luke xiii. 32) and 
St. Paul's apology for himself, for denouncing the High Priest 
as "arwhited wall" (Acts xxiii. 5). 

16. thou hast hewed thee out a sepulchre] It has been con- 
jectured (Ijy Blunt, Coincid. p. 236), that Shebna was a " novus 
homo," or a foreigner, from the fact that whereas the paternal 
names of Eliakim and Joah with whom he is associated, are 
mentioned in 2 Kings xviii. 18, the name of Shebna's father is 
not specified ; he had no family burial-ijlace, and desired to make 
a magnificent mausoleum. 

17, 18. ivith a mighty captivity'] With the hurling of a strong 
man—YxliG Lichas, hurled from the rock by Hercules. 

— And toill surely cover thee] Or, ivrapping will lorap thee 
tip ; He will take thee up and He will wrap thee up (cp. Lev. 
xvi. 4), as a mantle folded up into a ball (cp. the act of Elisha 
folding up Elijah's mantle into a ball, 2 Kings ii. 8. 14, and 
Gesen. 620. 714) ; and He will fling thee, easily as a ball, into a 
far country, even to Babylon. Compare " Di nos quasi pilas 
habent" (Plautus). Thus will He deal with thee and all the pomp 
of thy pride and glory ; and there shalt thou die, and thither 
(shall he carry) the chariots of thy glory, — the shame of the 
house of thy lord (so the words ought to be rendered) ; thou 
that art now over the king's house, wilt be its shame ! 

This prophecy was probably fulfilled in the days of Manas- 
seh the son of Hezekiah ; Hezekiah's faith had delivered Jerusa- 
lem from the arms of the Assyrians ; but the idolatrous Manasseh 
his son was taken captive to Babylon by Esarhaddon, the son 
of Sennacherib. See the note above, on 2 Chron. xxxiii. 11, 
where it is shown from Assyrian inscriptions that many cap- 
tives were taken by him fi'om Syria, at the same time as Manas- 
seh; and it is likely that some of the chief ministers of the 
king, probably Shebna among them, would be taken away toge- 
ther with their lord. 

Isaiah foretold this deportation to Babylon in his prophecy 
to Hezekiah, the father of Manasseh (see below, xxxix. 6, 7); and 
it is observable that this deportation was foretold at a time when 
Hezekiah displayed his treasures, in a vain-glorious temper, 
which was imitated by the ambitious Shebna, who did not profit 
by the courageous rebuke given by Isaiah to Hezekiah. 

20. UliaJclm the son of Hilkiah] Hezekiah's minister; 
probably superseded by Shebna in the evil days of Manasseh 
{v. 15). 

21 — 25 And I loill clothe — spoJcen it] Eliakim, contrasted 
with Shebna, represents the faithful remnant of Judah, con- 
trasted with the unbelieving Jews who are rejected by God. 

EUaJcim's glory. 

ISAIAH XXII. 23—25. XXIII. 1—3. 

Burden of Tijre. 



And he shall shut, and none shall open. 
"^ And I will fasten him as ^ a nail in a sure place ; 

And he shall be for a glorious throne to his father's house ; 

And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father's house, 

The offspring and the issue, 

All vessels of small quantity. 

From the vessels of cups, even to all the || vessels of flagons. 

In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, 

Shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed. 

And be cut down, and fall ; 

And the burden that tms upon it shall be cut off : 

For the Lord hath spoken it, 

XXIII. 1 The ^ burden of Tyre. 

Howl, ye ships of Tarshish ; 

For it is laid waste, 

So that there is no house, no entering in : 

'' From the land of Chittim it is revealed to them. 
2 Be f still, ye inhabitants of the isle ; 

Thou whom the merchants of Zidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished. 
^ And by great waters the seed of Sihor, the harvest of the river, is her revenue ; 





y Ezra 9. 8. 

II Or, insirumcnta 
of viols. 

A Jer. 25. 2'i. & 
47. 4. 

Ezek. 26, & 27, 
& 2S. 

Amos 1. 9. 
Zech. 9. 2, 4. 

b ver. 12. 
t Hfcb. sileiil. 

Eliakim and Cheist. 

But this prophecy has a still higher meaning. 

JEUalcim, — a name which signifies " Whom God sets up ;" 
and whose father's name means "Portion of the Lord," — is 
here named " God's servant," specially called by Him ; and is in- 
vested with Shebna's robe of office, and girded with his girdle, 
fay God Himself J and the government, which once belonged to 
Shebna as over the house, is committed to him ; and he is a 
father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of 
Judah, and the key of the house of Judah is laid upon his 
shoulder. Such words as these (as S. Cyril and Theodoret 
observe) point out Eliakim as a signal type of Christ, Who as a 
Son is over the house of His Father (Heb. iii. 6), and of Whom 
it is said that the govemtnent is on His shoulder ; and that His 
government upon the throne of David is established for ever 
(ix. 6, 7). _ 

This view receives additional illustration from the words " he 
shall open, and none shall shut ; and he shall shut, and none 
shall open ;" words adopted by Cheist, and applied by Him to 
Himself, in Rev. iii. 7. Cp. Rev. i. 18. 

Of Eliakim also it is said by God, " I will fasten Mm as a 
nail," or peg (Heb. yathed), by which the pastoral Tent was kept 
in its place, so as not to be moved by the winds or injured by 
the rains of the storm beating upon it. Such is Christ to His 
Church. See on Judg. iv. 21, 22. 

Of Eliakim also it is said, "His shall he for a glorious throne 
to his father's house." Such also is Christ (Luke i. 31 — 33. 
Rev. iii. 21 j v. 11, 12). 

Of Eliakim it is also said, that 'Hhey shall hang upon him all 
the glory of his father's house ;" he is a nail, or pin, for support, 
and a peg on which all honour is hung (cp. Ezek. xv. 3). Such 
is Cheist. All the glory of the Tent of the Church on earth 
and in heaven (which is His Father's house) hangs on Him. 

On the analogies between the Christian Church and a pas- 
toral Tent, see the notes above, on Judges iv. 21, 22. Ezra ix. 8, 
and on Eccles. xii. 11 ; and below, xxxiii. 20; liv. 2. 

25. In that day— he cut off'\ Here is a transition from the 
type to the Antitype. In Shebna we may see an emblem of the 
Jewish Law and Priesthood, to be superseded by the Gospel 
and the Priesthood of Christ, as Shebna was to give way to 
Eliakim {S. Jerome). 

The nail of the Jewish Priesthood was once fastened in a 
sure place (for it was instituted by Almighty God Himself); 
hut it has been cut down and fallen for its sins, and all the burden 
of the Levitical Law that was upon it (and that was a heavy 
burden as St Peter affirms, see Acts xv. 10. 28) has been cut off 
from it ; for " the Priesthood being changed, there is made of 
Vol. V. Paet L— 65 

necessity a change of the Law" (Heb. vii. 12); and all the 
power and glory has been transferred to the Divine Eliakim, 
Jesus Cheist, Who " abideth a Priest continually ; and hath 
an unchangeable priesthood " (Heb. vii, 3. 24)— for the Lord 
hath spoken it. 

Ch. XXIII. 1. The burden of Tyre'] The connexion of this 
prophecy with the foregoing concerning Jerusalem, and its 
capture by the Chaldees, will appear from the language of other 
prophets concerning Tyre. Tyre exulted in the misfortunes of 
Judah (see Amos i. 9). It is an excellent observation of 
S. Jerome, " As we have read God's threats against other 
nations, such as Babylon, Philistia, Moab, Egypt, Edom, and 
Ishmael, for exulting over the afflietions of His people, so now 
we have a prophecy ' contra Tyrum, inimicam et insultatricem 
subversionis Jerusalem, qu6d etiam ipsa ab eodem hoste (Clial- 
dseo) sit destruenda.' " Tyre had rejoiced when Nebuchad- 
nezzar took Jerusalem. On this account she was to be punished 
by the same Monarch. See Ezek. xxvi. 2 — 21, " Thus saith the 
Lord God ; Behold, I wiU bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar 
king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north. . . . With 
the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets : 
he shall slay thy people by the sword, and thy strong garrisons 
shall go down to the ground. And they shall make a spoil of 
thy riches, . . . and make a prey of thy merchandise : and they 
shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses, 
and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in 
the midst of the water." Cp. Ezek. xxix. 18 — 20, and Jer. 
xxvii. 3 — 7, where Tyrus is mentioned as given unto Nebu- 
chadnezzar. Josephus, c. Apion, i. 20, asserts that Nebuchad- 
nezzar conquered all Phenicia and Syria. See Sengstenberg, 
De Rebus Tyriorum, p. 31 ; Hdvernick on Ezek. 427 ; and 
Drechsler here, and Delitzsch, and Pusey on Daniel, p. 287. 

— Howl, ye ships of Tarshish] Tartessus in Spain, whicli 
had commerce with Tyre (Ezek. xxvii. 12. 25). Cp. 1 Kings x. 
22 ; xxii. 48. 2 Chron. ix. 21. 

— Chittim'} Cyprus, and the lands on the Mediterranean. 
See Numb. xxiv. 24. 

— it is revealed] The fall of Tyre. 

2. Pe still, ye inhabitants of the isle] Be dumb with terror, 
ye dwellers in the isle; the insular Tyre, opposite to that on 
the mainland (cp. v. 6), at about a distance of a mile. 

— Zidon] Zidon was the older city, from which Tyre was 
colonized; see v. 12. Sidon was the eldest son of Canaan; and 
Zidon is mentioned by Jacob (Gen. xlix. 13), and is called 
" great Zidon" in Josh. xi. 8; xix. 28. 

3. the seed of Sihor] The produce of the Nile, called Sihor, 
the Black Eiver. Cp. Jer. ii. 18. Gesen, 818. 


Lament over Tyre, 


to he humbled hy the Chaldees 





c Ezek. 27. 3. 

d ch. 19. 16. 

e ch. 22. 2. 

t Heb. from 
afar off. 

f See Ezek. 28. 
2, 12. 

t Ileb. to pollute. 

t Heb. girdle. 

!| Or, concerning 
a merchantman. 
f Heb. Canaan. 
II Or, strengths. 

g Rev. 18, 22. 

h ver. I. 

And " she is a mart of nations. 
'^ Be thou ashamed, Zidon : for the sea hath spoken, even the strength of 
the sea, saying, 

I travail not, nor bring forth chikh^en, 

Neither do I nourish up young men, nor bring up virgins. 
^ '^ As at the report concerning Egypt, 

So shall they be sorely pained at the report of Tyre. 
^ Pass ye over to Tarshish ; 

Howl, ye inhabitants of the isle. 
7 Is this your ''joyous city, 

Whose antiquity is of ancient days ? 

Her own feet shall carry her f afar off to sojourn. 
^ Who hath taken this counsel against Tyre, 

''The crowning city, 

Whose merchants are princes. 

Whose traffickers are the honourable of the earth ? 
^ The Lord of hosts hath purposed it, 

f To stain the pride of all glory. 

And to bring into contempt all the honourable of the eartli. 
'^ Pass through thy land as a river, daughter of Tarshish : 

There is no more f strength. 
^^ He stretched out his hand over the sea. 

He shook ttie kingdoms : 

The Lord hath given a commandment || against f the merchant city, 

To destroy the || strong holds thereof. 
^- And he said, ^ Thou shalt no more rejoice, 

thou oppressed virgin, daughter of Zidon : 

Arise, ^ pass over to Chittim ; 

There also shalt thou have no rest. 
Behold the land of the Chaldeans ; 


4. Be thou ashamed, Zidon'] Hearken, O Zidon, with con- 
fusion of face, to the lamentation of Tyre thy daughter, who 
hewails her cliildlessness by reason of her captivity. 

5. As at the reiiort concerning Egypf] Rather, wlien the re- 
port comes to Egypt, concerning the fall of Tyre, which had 
commercial intercourse with her, Egypt shall be sorely dis- 
tressed by the news; and shall fear for herself. So Sept., 
Vv.lg., Arabic, Syriac. 

6. Pass ye over to Tarshish] Not only tell the sad tidings 
to Egypt on' the south, but even to Tarshish, or Tartessus, in 
Spain, on the west. 

7. Is this your joyous city] Rather, Is this distress come 
upon you, O joyous city ? 

— her 01071 feet shall carry her — to sojourn] Formerly Tyre 
sent forth noble ships, in gallant trim, from her port to all 
lands; but now she herself must emigrate on foot, like a captive 

8. crowning citj] Crowning herself and others ; distributing 
crowns, as if she were Mistress of the world. 

9. The Lord of hosts hath purposed it] Let no one suppose 
that the Chaldeans will be able to do this by their own power ; 
no, they arc only instruments in executing the purposes of 
Jehovah, the Lord of Hosts, Whose dwelling is at Jerusalem. 

Here we are reminded of one of the great final causes of 
Prophecy. The prophets, like Isaiah, dwelling at Jerusalem, in 
the valley of vision (see xxii. Prelim. Note), were enabled by 
the God of Israel to foresee and foretell what would happen to 
all the great Nations of the Earth. And since He alone, by 
Whom these things would be done or permitted, could foresee 
and foretell them, therefore the fulfilment of such prophecies as 
these was an evidence in the eyes of the world, that the Lord 
Who was worshipped at Jerusalem was not a mere local deity, 

but the One only God of all the earth, and that all the deities 
whom the heathen worshipped were vanity. 

10. Pass through thy land as a river] Literally, as the 
river, the Nile (Heb. year). There is a bitter irony in these 
words. Now that the walls and forts of Tyi-e are destroyed, 
she, who was formerly pent up in her island citadel, may over- 
flow and pass through her land fi'eely, as the Nile flows through 
Egypt with its unrestrained inundations ; for there is no more 
strength — no belt — to restrain her. Tyre is called the daughter 
of Tarshish in mockery ; she who was once the mother city, is 
now become her daughter's daughter. 

11. He] The Lord. See v. 9. 

— the merchant city] Heb. cenaan (see on Gen. xxxvii. 25, 
and on Job xli. 6). Canaan was the father of Sidon (Gen. x. 
15), whence Tyre was colonized {v. 12). 

13. Behold the land of the Chaldeans — ruin] The prophet 
points to the land from which the future spoilers of Tyre would 
come, and calls them by name— <^e Chaldees. Thou, O Tyre, 
boastest thy great antiquity {v. 7); but the Lord of Hosts 
{v. 9), Jehovah {v. 11), Who is the Lord God of Israel, He is 
the Creator and Governor of all, and can call all things into 
being from nothing ; and He will destroy thee by means of a 
Nation which, when compared with thee, is of recent date. 
Behold the Chaldeans — this people toas not (cp. Deut. xxxil. 
21. The woi'd " till," which is not in the original, would be 
better omitted) : the Assyrian (lit. Asshur) founded it (or 
built it into a city) for dwellers in the wilderness (for wild, 
barbarous, nomad hordes, who before roved about without any 
habitation) ; they set up the totvers thereof, they raised up the 
palaces thereof; he brought it to ruin ; or, he (Asshur), or 
rather God Himself (cp. v, 11), set it up for a fall (i. e. set up 
Babylon to be an instrument of destruction to thee and to 

for seventy years. 


Tyre icill turn to God. 

This people was not, till the Assyrian founded it 
For ' them that dwell in the wilderness : 
They set up the towers thereof, 
They raised up the palaces thereof ; 

And he brought it to ruin. 


' Howl, ye ships of Tarshish : 

For your strength is laid waste. 
'^ And it shall come to pass in that day, 

That Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, 

According to the days of one king : 

After the end of seventy years f shall Tyre sing as an harlot. 
^^ Take an harp, go about the city. 

Thou harlot that hast been forgotten ; 

Make sweet melody, sing many songs, 

That thou mayest be remembered. 
And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years. 

That the Lord will visit Tyre, 

And she shall turn to her hire, 

And ' shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world 

Upon the face of the earth. 
^^ And her merchandise and her hire "" shall be holiness to the Lord 





iPs. 72. 9. 

k ver. 1 . 

Ezek. 27. 25 

t Hell, it slmllhe 
unto Tyre as llie 
song of an liar lot. 


1 Rev. 17.2. 

m Zech. 14. 20, 

others) ; Babylon, the city of the Chaldees, was set up to be 
the fall of many, — of Nineveh (the capital of Asshur), of Tyre, 
of Egypt, and others (Ezek. xxix. 18 — 20. Jer. xxvii. 3 — 9), 
and even of Jerusalem itself; and eventually to be an instru- 
ment of her own fall, by her pride and impiety. See the pro- 
phecy in Jer. xxv. 8 — 14. 

The humiliation of Tyre in its destruction by the Chaldees 
was aggravated by the circumstance that, in comparison with 
Tyre (whose " antiquity was of ancient days," v. 7), the Chal- 
dees were but of yesterday, and were founded by Asshur, whose 
destruction by the Lord God of Israel has been already foretold 
by the prophet, x. 33, 34. 

As to the origin of the Chaldees, or (as they are called in 
Hebrew) Chasdlm, we find no mention of them in Scripture in 
the records of the earliest descendants of Noah ; and they can- 
not compete in antiquity with Canaan, the son of Ham and the 
father of Sidon (see Gen. x. 15 — 19). Asshur was the son of 
Shem, whence his descendants are set down in Gen. x. 21 — 32 ; 
xi. 10 — 28, where is the first mention of the Chaldees (or Chas- 
dim) in connexion with Abraham, who was called by God from 
" Ur of the Chaldees," on account of their idolatry. The name 
CJiesed, in the singular, occurs first in Gen. xxii. 22, among the 
nephews of Abraham. 

The present statement of Isaiah is to be taken together 
with other passages in this book, where Babylon is called the 
daughter of the Chaldeans (xlvii. 1. 5), and the beauty of the 
Chaldees' excellency (xiii. 19). In the present passage, the 
settlement of the Chaldees in the position they occupied in 
Isaiah's time at Babylon is attributed to Assur. Some have 
supposed that this colonization was only a resettlement after 
temporary depression. See Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, i. 70 
— 74, who has examined and refuted the opinion of Gesenius 
and others that the Chaldeans bad no settled existence till 
Isaiah's time. Cp. Niehuhr, Geschichte Babel's, pp. 152, 153 ; 
Winer, R. W. B., i. 218. 

The present passage has been thought (by Vitringa, p. 687) 
to be a testimony to the foundation, or at least to the fortifica- 
tion of Babylon by Assyrians ; an assertion confirmed by heathen 
historians, who ascribed it to Ninus and Semiramis, about 740 
(Herod, i. 174; and Diodortis, i. p. 84). Babylon appears 
onder the dominion of Assyria in the days of Sargon and Sen- 
nacherib (in the Assyrian Inscriptions), and of Esarhaddon, 
2 Chron. xxxiii. 11 ; and of Shalmaneser, 2 Kings xvii. 22 — 30. 

But it is probable that Isaiah is here referring to a time of 
a more remote antiquity than any of these sovereigns. Babylon 
seems to have been imder a dynasty of Arabs fi-om about B.C. 
1518 to B.C. 1273, and this was succeeded by a dynasty of 

Assyrians about B.C. 1270. Probably it is to this occupation 
that Isaiah refers. With some few intervals of Babylonish in- 
dependence, Assyria maintained her supremacy at Babylon till 
B.C. 625. See the evidence in SaivUnson's Ancient Monarchies, 
iii. 470—481. 

Nabonassar, from whom the Babylonish era is dated, B.C. 
747, would not have desired to destroy the acts of the kings 
before him, as he did, if they had reflected glory on the Baby- 
lonians, and not on their enemies. Berosus, Frag. 11 ; Ratv- 
Unson, iii. 474. 

15. Tijre shall he forgotten seventy years, according to the 
days of one king'\ "Behold" (said the Lord by Jeremiah, xxv. 
9 — 11), "I will send and take all the families of the north, and 
Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring 
them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and 
against all these nations round about ; . . . and these nations shall 
serve the Jcing of Babylon seventy years." See also Jer. xxvii. 
2 — 7 : " Thus saith the Lord to me ; Make thee bonds and 
yokes, and put them upon thy neck, and send them to the king 
of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the 
Ammonites, . . . Tyrus, . . . and Zidon. ... I have given all these 
lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my 
servant. . . . And all nations shall serve bun, and his son, and 
his son's son : . . . and then many nations and great kings shall 
serve themselves of him." The phrase " one king " is equivalent 
to one dynasty. Cp. on Rev. xvii. 10, and Biisey on Daniel, 262. 

These seventy years of the desolation of Tyre appear to co- 
incide with the seventy years of the desolation of Jerusalem, 
and they synchronize with the rule of the family of Nebuchad- 
nezzar. Cp. Vitringa, Sengst., Delitzsch. 

— as an harlof\ Feigning love of others for the sake of 
sordid gain to hei'self (see v. 17), she " shall turn to her hire." 
Harlotry does not here designate Commerce as such, but Com- 
merce carried on in a selfish spirit, for the sake of personal 
advantage, without any regard to the glory of God, from Whom 
all riches come, and to Whom they ought to be dedicated. 

16. Take an harp"] A prophecy of what will be done ; not 
an exhortation to do it (cp. John ii. 19). On the recovery of 
Tyre, see Arrian, xvi. 521 ; Vitringa, 703. 

18. And her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to 
the Lordl Tyre shall repent of her harlotry, and her commerce 
and wealth shall be consecrated to the service of the Lord. This 
prophecy (which is continued in Ezek. xxviii. 24 — 26) began to 
be verified when the Tyrians assisted in the rebuilding of tho 
Temple (Ezra iii. 7). But the fulfilment of the prophecy was re- 
served for Christian times. A prelude to it may be seen in the 
Syrophenician woman (Mark vii. 26), and inthe great multitudes 
K 2 

Tyre ivill turn to God. 


Judgment on the Earth. 



t Heb. old. 

t Heh.perverleth 
the face f hereof. 

II Or, prince. 
a Hos. 4. 9. 

b Ezek. 7. 12, 13. 

t Heb. the height 
of the people. 
c Gen. 3. 17. 
Num. 35. 33. 

e ch. 16. 8, 9. 
Joel 1. 10, 12. 

f Jer. 7. 34. & 
16.9. &25. 10. 
Ezek. 26. 13. 
Hos. 2. II. 
Rev. 18. 22. 

It shall not be treasured nor laid up ; 

For her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before the Lord, 

To eat sufficiently, and for f durable clothing. 

XXIV. ^ Behold, the Lord maketh the Earth empty, 

And maketh it waste, and f turneth it upside down, 

And scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. 
2 And it shall be. 

As with the people, so with the H'' priest ; 

As with the servant, so with his master ; 

As with the maid, so with her mistress ; 

^ As with the buyer, so with the seller ; 

As with the lender, so with the borrower ; 

As with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. 
^ The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled : 

For the Lord hath spoken this word. 
^ The earth mourneth and fadeth away, 

The world languisheth and fadeth away, 

f The haughty people of the earth do languish. 
^ ^ The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof ; 

Because they have transgressed the laws, 

Changed the ordinance, 

Broken the everlasting covenant. 
^ Therefore hath ^ the curse devoured the earth. 

And they that dwell therein are desolate : 

Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, 

And few men left. 
^ " The new wine mourneth, 

The vine languisheth, 

All the merry-hearted do sigh. 
^ The mirth ^of tabrets ceaseth, 

The noise of them that rejoice endeth, 

The joy of the harp ceaseth. 
^ They shall not drink wine with a song ; 

that came from the sea-coast of Tyre and Sklon to hear our 
Blessed Lord (Luke vi. 17). See also Acts xxi. 3, 4 ; and notes 
on Ps. xlv. 1§ ; Ixxii. 10 j Ixxxvii. 4; and JSusebius, H. E. x. 4, 
who says, in commenting on this passage of Isaiah, " This pro- 
phecy is fulfilled in our times. For now that the Church of 
God is established in Tyre, as in other Nations, a large portion 
of her merchandise is consecrated to the Lord and to His 
Church, and for the use of the ministers at'His altar, or of the 
Gospel, according to the precept of the Lord, that they who 
preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel " (1 Cor. ix. 14). 
And so S. Jerome : " Contemplate the churches built at Tyi-e 
to Christ ; contemplate the wealth of her people, not now trea- 
sured nor laid tip, hut given to those who dwell before the 


Compare the earlier prophecies of this blessed consumma- 
tion : " The daughter of Tt/re shall be there with a gift " (see 
above, on Ps. xlv. 12) ; and " Behold Philistia, and Ti/re, with 
Ethiopia; this man was born there" (see on Ps. Ixxxvii. 4). 
Thus Isaiah takes up the harp of the Psalmist, and continues 
and enlarges its sweet spiritual strains, prophetic of the graces 
and glories of Christ. Till a.d. 1289, when Tyre was taken by 
the Saracens, it was a Christian city (A Lapid'e). 

Judgment upon the Eaeth. 

Ch. XXIV.] Our Blessed Lord, in the tweuty-fourth chapter 

of St. Matthew's Gospel, passes, by a rapid transition, from a 
pre-announcenient of the national judgment on Jerusalem to 
a prophetic description of the future universal Judgment of 
the WoELD. 

So it is here. Isaiah, having contemplated from his pro- 
phetical watch-tower of Jerusalem the destinies of the great 
Nations of the Earth, proceeds now to speak of the future 
Judgment of the World itself ; and he invites all to join in a 
Hallelujah of praise to God for the manifestation of His glory 
in all His visitations, and for His watchful love over His faithful 
people in all national revolutions. 

The Church of England has fitly appointed this and the 
following chapters, and also the thirtieth and thirty-second, to 
be read in the season of Advent. 

1. tJieEarthl The Earth, 'n\ its earthly character, as opposed 
to the kinydom of heaven. Cp. Matt. xxiv. 30. Luke xxi. 23. 
25. 31. Rev. i. 7, where the word earth is used in a similar 
sense, as contrasted with heaven and heavenly things. 

3. The land~\ The earth, the same word as is used in v. 1, 
is repeated here ; and this word, the earth, is repeated five 
times in the three next verses ; and thus the contrast to the 
kingdom of heaven, i. e. to the true Church of God, is more 
strongly marked. See also vv. 11. 13. The word, the earth, 
occurs no less than sixteen times in this chapter. In v. 19, 
it is repeated thrice. 

Tlie Universal Judgment. 

ISAIAH XXIV. 10—17. 

Glory to the righteous. 

Strong drink shall bo bitter to them that drink it. 
^" The city of confusion is broken down : 

Every house is shut up, that no man may come in. 
' ^ There is a crying for wine in the streets ; 

All joy is darkened, 

The mirth of the land is gone. 
^^ In the city is left desolation, 

And the gate is smitten with destruction. 
'^ When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the people, 

^ There shall he as the shaking of an olive ti^e, 

And as the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done. 
^•* They shall hft up their voice, they shall sing 

For the majesty of the Lord, 

They shall cry aloud from the sea. 
^^ Wherefore glorify ye the Lord in the [| fires. 

Even '' the name of the Lord God of Israel in the isles of the sea. 
^^ From the f uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, 

Even glory to the righteous. 

But I said, f My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me ! 

' The treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously ; 

Yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously. 
^^ '' Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, 

inhabitant of the earth. 





gch. 17. 5,6. 

H Or, valleys. 
hMal. I. 11. 
t Heb. wing. 

t Heb. Leanness 
to me, or, My 
secret to me. 
i Jer. 5. II. 

k See 1 Kings 
19. 17. 

Jer. 48. 43, 44. 
Amos 5. 19. 

10. The city of confusion] The Earth of the last days is repre- 
sented as a city of confusion. It will be in the same condition, 
socially and politically, as it was physically before its creation 
in its present form, viz. as a city of confusion, Heb. tohu, a 
remarkable word; see on Gen. i. 2, where that word is 
rendered without form, and where it represents the Earth 
in its ruined condition, before its reproduction in its present 

The analogy is this. The Earth wiU be reduced to a 
ruinous and chaotic state, morally and socially, before the 
future creation of the "new heavens and new earth, wherein 
dwelleth righteousness" (2 Pet. iii. 13). See below, Ixv. 17; 
Ixvi. 22. Rom. viii. 19; Rev. xxi. 1. 27. 

There is another analogy also in the fact, which our Lord 
Himself foretells in Matt. xxiv. (see here Prelim. Note), that 
the condition of the Earth in the latter days will be like that 
of the city of Jerusalem on the eve of its fall. But as the 
Universal Church of God was built on the ruins of the material 
Temple of Jerusalem, and spread forth from Zion to enfold the 
World, so at the great catastrophe, the spiritual Zion of the 
Church Militant on earth will arise from its trials and sorrows 
to the glory of the new Jerusalem — the Church triumphant 
in heaven. 

— every house is shut up, that no man may come in\ On 
account of the ruins that block up the door. 

11. a crying for wine'] That is, for the failure of it (Joel 

— the land] The Earth. See v. 3. 

12. In the city — left desolation] This is all which remains 
— desolation. Cp. Jer. xxv. 11. 

— the gate is smitten] The scenery of the destruction of 
Jerusalem is here blended with that of God's judgment on the 
Earth ; as in our Lord's prophecy (Matt. xxiv.). 

13. in the midst of the land] In all the earth ; in the midst 
of tlic people — rather, of the peoples ; there shall be a faithful 
remnant of God's elect, as the shaking of an olive-tree (see 
i. 9; xvii. 6. Rom. xi. 5) among all Nations; and they shall 
praise God, and be gathered into the Church glorified, by the 
holy angels, from the four winds, from one end of heaven to 
the other. Cp. Matt. xxiv. 31. Rev. vii. 1— 4. 14. 

14. They shall lift up their voice] As the renmant of the 
faithful sang songs of thanksgiving to God when they re- 
turned to Jerusalem from their exile in Bctbylon (see Ps. 


cxxvi. 1), so the redeemed of the Lord will sing praises to Him 
for all His wonderful works of judgment and mercy, when they 
ascend from their exile in this their earthly captivity to the 
heavenly Jerusalem of the Church glorified. See xxxv. 10. 
Rev. xiv. 1 — 4. 

— the sea] The West {Gesen. 350), the land of the Gentiles. 
See V. 15. 

15. the fires] The lights, i. e. the East (Gesen. 23; Drechsler, 

16. But I said] In the midst of the songs of joy and thanks- 
giving for the salvation and glory of the redeemed, the prophet 
beholds a mournful contrast ; see what follows. — 

— / said. My leanness, my leanness] Or rather, Con- 
sumption to me ! consumption to me ! The word here used is 
razi, from razah, to make lean, and signifies pining, wasting 
away, emaciation, destruction. See x. 16 ; xvii. 4. Gesen. 
764; Fuerst, 1291. Cp. Ps. cix. 24. The prophet complains 
of the great falling away and consequent rejection of his own 
people, the Jews, and adds, " Woe is me." He weeps for the 
fall of his brethren, as for the emaciation of his own flesh and 
blood, as St. Paul does (Rom. ix. 2—5) ; but he does not 
impute their misery to God, but to their sins. 

— The treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously] Rather, 
the transgressors have transgressed; yea, hy transgression, 
the transgressors have transgressed. As to the Hebrew word 
bagad, here used, see 1 Sam. xiv. 33, where it is translated by 
transgress ; and so Ps. xxv. 3; lix. 5; cxix. 158. Pi-ov. ii.22; 
xi. 3. 6 ; xiii. 2. 15 ; xxi. 18 ; xxii. 12 ; xxiii. 28. Hab. ii. 5. 
The meaning is, in a primary sense, those many Jews, who have 
been rejected by God, have brought their rejection on them- 
selves by their own transgressions. So the wicked, who will 
be punished at the Great Day of Doom, will have incurred 
their punishment by their sins. See v. 20. 

TnK Future Punishment of ail Earthly Powers, 


17. snare — upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth] These 
words are adopted by our Blessed Lord, when speaking of the 
Day of Doom : " As a snare shall it come upon all them that 
dwelt on the face of the whole earth " (see Luke xxi. 35). 
He refers to these words, and describes the sin and punish- 
ment of " the kings of the earth," i. e. all who are of the earth. 

Pitnishment of Earthly Poioers ISAIAH XXIV. 18—23. XXV. 1. 

opposed to God. 





1 Gen. 7. II. 
ni Ps. 13. 7. 
n Jer. 4. 23. 

t Ileb. visit upon. 
p Ps. 76. 12. 

f Heb. wilh the 
galtiering of 
II Or, dungeon. 

II Or, found 
q ch. 13. 10. & 
(50. 19. 
Ezek. 32. 7. 
Joel 2. 31. & 
3. 15. 

r Rev. 19. 4, 6. 
s Heb. 12. 22. 
II Or, there sliall 
be glory before 
his ancients. 

^^ And it shall come to pass, 

That he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit ; 

And he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare 

For ' the windows from on high are open, 

And "' the foundations of the earth do shake ; 
^^ " The earth is utterly broken down, 

The earth is clean dissolved, 

The earth is moved exceedingly ; 
2*^ The earth shall " reel to and fro like a drunkard. 

And shall be removed like a cottage ; 

And the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it ; 

And it shall fall, and not rise again. 
2^ And it shall come to pass in that day. 

That the Lord shall f punish the host of the high ones that are on high, 

p And the kings of the earth upon the earth ; 
-■^ And they shall be gathered together, 

f As prisoners are gathered in the || pit, 

And shall be shut up in the prison, 

And after many days shall they be [| visited. 
"^ Then the '^ moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed. 

When the Lord of hosts shall "■ reign 

In ' mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, 

And II before his ancients gloriously. 

XXV. ^ Lord, thou art my God ; 

earthy, and who are not loyal citizens " of the Kingdom of 
heaven." See Rev. vi. 15 — 17 ; xix. 19 — 21. Thus our Lord 
Himself helps us to understand this prophecy. 

18. the fW] "Lacum" {Vulg.), "the lake of fire" of the 
Apocalypse (xix. 19 — 21). 

22. And after many days shall they he iusited'] This is in 
apposition with what has gone before, v. 21. It shall come to pass 
in that day, that the Lord shall punish, or rather, shall visit. 

It is carefully to be observed, that, as if purposely to prevent 
confusion, and to obviate the erroneous opinions that have been 
deduced by some from this passage, the prophet has used the 
same Hebrew word {i^aTcad) there as here. Cp. x. 12 ; xiii. 11 ; 
xxiii. 17 ; xxvi. 21 ; and particularly below, xxvii. 1 ; and 
xxix. 6 (where the niphal is used, as here) : " Thou shalt he 
visited " (i. e. punished) " of the Lord of hosts with thunder, 
and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, 
and the flame of devouring fire." 

The sense is (as Vitringa observes, p. 22), that although 
" the kings of the earth " (that is, those persons who do not 
labour to advance the kingdom of heaven) may exnlt for many 
days, in their worldly pride, and in their proud opposition to 
God, and to His Truth; and though, in fond hope of fancied 
security, they may ask with the scofiers, in the language of 
scorn and defiance, "Where is the promise of His coming?" 
(2 Pet. iii. 9. See above, v. 4. 19 ; and cp. Jer. xvii. 15 ; and 
e.specially Ezek. xii. 27) ; yet, after a time of long and merci- 
ful forbearance on His part, the Lord loill come and punish 
all His adversaries. After many days they icill he visited ; and 
however they may flatter themselves with hopes of escape, the 
Day of Doom will certainly come, and He will punish the host 
of the high ones, and thrust them down into the pit of 

23. the moon — the sun'] The moon (Heb. lehanah, so called 
from its whiteness) shall blush red with shame ; and the sun 
(Heb. chammah, so called from its gloioing fire) shall turn 
pale. On these words, see note on Josh. x. 13, where two 
diflerent words for sun and moon are used. The great luminaries 
of the Earth will be confounded at the Coming of the Lord at 
the Great Day. Cp. Joel ii. 31; iii. 15. Matt. xxiv. 29. 
Luke xxi. 23. 

— hefore his ancients'] The elders of the Apocalypse ; that 

is, all those who hold the true faith, which God revealed by 
Moses and the Prophets to the Ancient People of God ; see 
Hengst. here, and notes, below, on Rev. iv. 4 — 6, where 
St. John uses the same word as is emjiloyed here in the 
Septuagint Version, and is rendered ancients in our version. 

— gloriously] Rather, glory. The Lord will reign in the 
presence of His ancients. He will be glory, — all glory ; and 
His Saints will shine by His glory, as Moses and Elias at the 
Transfiguration shone, in and by the glory of Christ, when 
St. Peter saw " the excellent glory " (2 Pet. i. 17). 

Song- op Peaise poe Deliveeance and Redemption ; poee- 


Days op Hezekiah, the Type op Cheist. 

Ch. XXV., XXVL] It is well said in the Arahic Version here, 
and in the title also to the twenty-sixth chapter, that what fol- 
lows is a Thanksgiving of King Hezekiah to the Lord for his 
victory and deliverance of Jerusalem from the Assyrian army of 

But this is not all. 

This chapter concerns the Universal Church of God. It has 
been already shown, in the notes on the history of Hezekiah 
(whose name means "Jehovah strengthens"), that Hezekiah 
was a type of Cheist. See on 2 Kings xix. 30; xx. 5, 6, and 
11. In his name, in his faith and obedience, in his tears 
and strong crying to God (2 Kings xx. 5), and in his wonderful 
deliverance, and in that of Jerusalem his city, by means of his 
faith and prayers ; and in the sudden and complete overthrow of 
his enemies, the proud foes and blasphemers of God ; and also in 
his personal resurrection, as it were, from the dead, on the third 
day (see above, on 2 Kings xx. 5, 6. 11) — a resuiTcction at- 
tended by a miracle (the going back of the shadow of the sun 
ten degrees in the dial of Ahaz) ; and in the wonderful extension 
of his life, at a time when as yet he had no son ; and in the 
springing forth from him and from his wife Hephzi-hah (i. e. 
my delight is in her), a type of Christ's spouse the Church (see 
2 Kings xxi. 1 ; and below, Ixii. 4), of a seed, from which 
Christ came ; and in his thankfulness and joy (see below, 
Hezekiah's song of praise, xxxviii. 9 — 22), he prefigured 
Christ, Who came from his loins according to the fiesh, and 
Who is the King of the spiritual Jerusalem ; and Who by His 

Praise for Deliverance, 


and Redemption in Christ. 

I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name ; 
For thou hast done wonderful things ; 
Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. 
2 For thou hast made "^ of a city an heap ; 

Of a defenced city a ruin : 

A palace of strangers to be no city ; 

It shall never be built. 
^ Therefore shall the strong people ^ glorify thee, 

The city of the terrible nations shall fear thee ; 
* For thou hast been a strength to the poor, 

A strength to the needy in his distress, 

^A refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, 

When the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. 
^ Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, 

As the heat in a dry place ; 

Even the heat with the shadow of a cloud : 

The branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low. 
^ And in ^ this mountain shall ^ the Lord of hosts make unto ' all people 

A feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, 

Of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. 

aExod. 15. 2. 
Ps. 118.28. 
b Ps. 98. 1. 
c Num. 23. 19. 
d ch. 21. 9. & 
23. 13. 
Jer. 51. 37. 

e Rev. n. 13. 

f ch. 4. 6. 

g ch. 2. 2, 3. 
h Prov. 9. 2. 
Matt. 22. 4. 
i Dan. 7. 14. 
Matt. 8. 11. 

faith and obedience, and prayers and tears, has delivered the 
Israel of God from Satan, its ghostly Sennacherib, the haughty 
rival and impious blasphemer of God ; and Who died and rose 
from the dead on the third day ; and Who (according to His 
own comparison) was, before His death, like " a corn of wheat," 
which " abideth alone, except it fall into the ground and die ; but 
if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit " (John xii. 24) : for His 
Resurrection was the Resurrection of His Body, the Church, as 
the Apostle says, " Christ is risen from the dead, and become 
the firstfruits of them that slept. For as in Adam all die, even 
60 in Christ shall all be made alive " (1 Cor. xv. 20. 22) ; and 
after His Death and Resurrection from the dead, He espoused 
to Himself His Sephzi-bah, the Universal Church, His Bride, 
Whom He had purchased with His own blood (Acts xx. 28). See 
below, liv., Prelim. Note. 

The present and following chapters are therefore a song of 
victory, not only of Hezekiah, Isaiah, and Judah, but of Cheist 
and of the whole Church of the Redeemed, for His triumph, and 
for her Redemption through Him. 

2. thou hast made of a city an heap — a defenced city a ruin'] 
Thou, O Lord, hast done this; Thou hast employed the Assyrian 
to execute Thy judgments. Sennacherib proudly imagined that 
be had destroyed the cities by his own power ; but God said by 
Isaiah, " I have brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay 
waste fenced cities into ruinous heaps. See 2 Kings xix. 25, 
where the words in the original are the same as here. 

3. Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee] This was 
the result of God's dealings with Assyria under Sennacherib, and 
of the vitter overthrow of her mighty power, which had con- 
quered Egypt and Ethiopia, and their strong people and terrible; 
but she was destroyed when she blasphemed God and threatened 
to destroy Jerusalem. As the Sacred History relates, " The Lord 
saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand 
of Sennacherib the King of Assyria — and many brought gifts 
unto the Loud to Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah King of 
Judah, so that he was magnified in the sight of all nations " (2 
Chrou. xxxii. 22, 23). Cp. above, on xviii. 7. 

— the city of the terrible nations] Even Assyria herself shall 
glorify thee ; see above, xix. 23 — 25. 

4. thoti hast been a strength to the poor — in hiS distress] 
The Lord was a strength to Hezekiah in his distress, public 
and private ; and God strengthened Christ the Divine Hezekiah, 
and He strengthens all believers in Him. 

There is a reference in these words to the etymology of 
Hezekiah's name, which means " Whom the Lord strengthens." 
Cp. XXXV. 3, 4 ; and on Ezek. iii. 8, where are similar allusions 
to the meaning of the name Ezehiel, or Hezehiel, which is the 
same name as Hezekiah, except in the adoption of El (God) for 


— WTien the blast of the terrible ones is (or rather was) as a 
storm against the wall] Such was the storm of the Assyrian, 
compared to the rushing of mighty waters, against Jerusalem 
(xvii. 12, 13). And such was the storm against Christ on the 
Cross (Ps. IxLs. 15) ; and such is the storm against His Church. 
But Zion was built on the I'ock of God's love and power. Christ 
is the Rock ; and the Church is built upon that Rock, and the 
gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matt. xvi. 18). 

5. As the heat in a dry place ; even the heat ivith the shadow 
of a cloud] As the glaring heat in the dry place, i. e. the parched 
desert, through which Thy people travelled, was brought doivn, 
or subdued by the shadow of the pillar of cloud (Ex. xiii. 22. 
Num. xiv. 14. Neh. ix. 19), so the foe's scorching heat was 
subdued by the shadow of the cloud of Thy protection. 

Observe the word shadow (Hebrew tsel) repeated in these 
two verses. Formerly Judah had looked for succour against 
Sennacherib to Ethiopia; but Ethiopia was a mere tselatsal, a 
noisy flapping, and transitory lohirring, of ivings, but it was no 
quiet and abiding tsel, or shadow. And when Ethiopia itself 
became a prey to Assyria, then Judah learnt to flee for shelter 
to the shadow of God's wings. See above, on xviii. 1. 

— The branch of the terrible ones] Rather, the triumphal 
song of the terrible ones (especially the Assyrians, vv. 3, 4) shall 
be brought low. {Gesen. 247.) 

6. And in this mountain] God's wonderful deliverance of 
Hezekiah and Judah, and the sudden overthrow of the Assyrians 
(who had conquered mighty people, but were destroyed when 
encamping before Jerusalem), brought Nations to glorify God in 
Zion, and to receive spiritual refreshment from Him. See on v. 3. 

Much more, the Victory achieved by God in Christ, dying 
and rising from the dead, and conquering Sin and Satan, and 
redeeming His people, will bring all nations to adore Him in 
the spiritual Zion of His universal Church, " the mountain of the 
Lord's House, established upon the top of the moimtains " (ii. 2. 
Mieah iv. 2) ; and they will bo refreshed there by Christ at a 
feast of fat things, the spiritual banquet of His Word and 
Sacraments. Cp. below, Iv. 1, 2. Ps. Ixili. 5. Prov. ix. 2. 
Cant. ii. 3, 4. Matt. xxii. 2-4. "Omnia mysteria Legis et 
Templi transferenda sunt ad Ecclesias nationum." S. Jerome ; 
and so Euseb. and S. Cyril. 

Observe the repetition of the words "in this mountain" 
three times {vv. 6, 7. 10). This mountain — mount Zion— is the 
scene of all God's glorious victories and gracious mercies. Zion 
is the mother of Christendom (see ii. 3 ; and on hv. 1). Where- 
ever the Church is, there is Zion— there is Jerusalem. She has 
expanded herself from that central point, where God vouch- 
safed His presence to Abraham, David, and Solomon, and where 
He appeared in Christ ; and she aims to enfold the World. 

— wines on the lees] and therefore strong, but well refined; 

Christ's universal Victory 

ISAIAH XXV. 7 — 10. over Sin, Darkness, and Death, 





+ lleb. saallow 


t Heb. covered. 
k 2 Cor. 3. 15. 
Eph. 4. 18. 
IHos. 13. 14. 
1 Cor. 15. 54. 
Bev. 20. 14. & 

m Rev. 7. 17. & 
21. 4. 

11 Gen. 49. 18. 
Titus 2. 13. 

o Ps. 20. 5. 

Or, threshed. 

7 And he will f destroy in this mountain 

The face of the covering f cast over all people, 

And " the vail that is spread over all nations ; 
^ He will ' swallow up death in victory ; 

And the Lord God will "" wipe away tears from off all faces ; 

And the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth : 

For the Lord hath spoken it. 
^ And it shall be said in that day, 

Lo, this is our God, 

" We have waited for him, and he will save us : 

This is the Lord, 

We have waited for him, " we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation ; 
^^ For in this mountain shall the hand of the Lord rest. 
And Moab shall be 11 trodden down under him. 

literally, percolated or strained — an emblem of sound doctrine, 
strong and pure. 

7. he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering — 
nations] Primarily, by the sudden destruction of the Assyrians 
when encamping before Jerusalem, God opened the eyes of 
heathen Nations to see His power and glory. 

Secondarily, these words have a spiritual and much wider sense, 
and refer to the Victory of Christ and the diffusion of the light 
of the Gospel. In the mountain of the Zion of His Church (v, 
6) God will not only feed all, and refresh all at a spiritual 
banquet (see v. 6), but He will destroy — literally, will sivalloto 
up (it is the same Heb. word, lala, in the original, as in the 
following verse) the face of the covering (Heb. lot, from lut, 
to cover by wrapping up, see Oesen. 433) cast over all people. 
These words are laest explained by reference to Num. iv. 20, and 
to Exod. xxxiv. 34, and to 2 Cor. iii. 15 — 18. 

In the first of these passages the same word (bala, to 
sioalloio up), is used as here, and is applied to the covering 
which wrapped up the holy things. Under the Levitical Law 
the mysteries of God were wrapped up (literally, were swallowed 
up) by a covering or veil. But the Prophet here announces 
that, under the Gospel, the covering itself, cast over all people, 
and the veil spread over all Nations, will be swallowed up. See 
the note above, on Num. iv. 20. 

In Exod. xxxiv. 19 — 34, Moses is described as putting a 
covering or veil over his face, after he had been communing 
with God on Mount Sinai (contrasted here with Mount Sion), 
because his face shone ; and the people, who had been guilty of 
a great sin, could not bear to look on his countenance, which 
shone with a reflection of God's glory, and dazzled them with 
its splendour. St. Paul teaches us to see there a figure of the 
veil which is on the hearts of the unbelieving Jews, in reading 
the Books of Moses and the Prophets ; and he foretells that 
this veil or covering will be taken away in the Gospel, when 
they turn to the Lord Christ. See notes above, on Exod. 
xxxiv. 33 ; and below, on 2 Cor. iii. 7 — 18. 

Isaiah here foretells that this swalloiving up of the cover- 
ing, and this taking away of the veil, will be effected ^br all 
Nations under the Gospel in " this mountain," — the mountain 
of the Lord's house, — the Universal Church of God. 

The figure is a highly poetical one. As on a mountain in 
the early morning, the Sun, rising on the eastern hills, swallows 
up the mists and clouds, and reveals all the beauties of the 
Landscape to the eye of the benighted traveller, so, in the 
mountain of the Lord's house, the Sun of Righteousness, which 
is Christ, "rising with healing on His wings," "the Day- 
Spring from on high," swallowed up the clouds of Darkness 
and Error, in which the Nations of the World were sitting (see 
ix. 2), and unfolds all the glorious Landscape of Truth and Love, 
revealed in the Word of God. 

8. He loill swallow up death in victory'] He repeats the 
word (bala) used in the foregoing vei-se, and declares that the 
Lord will not only siuallow up the covering of the veil on the 
face of all nations, — not only will the Lord swallow up that 
covering which swallowed up all nations in a cloud of darkness 
and error, — but He will also swalloiv up Death in Victory; 
or rather, swallow up Death into Victory, as St. Paul expounds 
the words, when he applies them to Christ, rising from the dead, 
in 1 Cor. xv. 54. 

The Hebrew word, here rendered victory, is netsach, which 
is so translated in 1 Chron. xxix. 11 (cp. 1 Sam. xv. 29. 
Lam. iii. 18) ; and which properly signifies what is pre-eminent 
and overcomes } and especially it means Eternity, as overcoming 
Time, which is absorbed into Eternity. See Vitringa, 46; and 
Oesen. 562. 

Through the sin of Adam, Death swallowed up his pos- 
terity ; but Christ, by His Death and Resurrection, has 
swallowed up Death into Immortality. He, by dying, has 
made Death itself to be the gateway to everlasting Life. 
(Hos. xiii. 14. Heb. ii. 14.) 

As Pharaoh and his host were swalloived up into the waves 
of the Red Sea, by which the people of Israel were delivered, 
and went forth free on their march to Canaan, so Death has 
been swallowed up into the waves of the Red Sea of Christ's 
Passion, by which the whole Human Race has been redeemed, 
and marches on with joy to its heavenly inheritance. 

On the use of the verb bala, to swallow up, see Num. 
xvi. 30. Ps. Ixix. 15 ; cvi. 17. Jonah i. 17. 

On the prophecies, in the Old Testament, concerning the 
Resurrection of the body, and Universal Judgment, see Pusey 
on Daniel, pp. 502—507. 

— will wipe away tears from off all faces] By the deli- 
verance of Hezekiah from a dangerous sickness, and from the 
liand of Assyria, God wiped away his tears (see xxxviii. 3, 
Hezekiah wept sore), and the tears of his people. Cp. below, 
XXX. 19. But these words also are to be understood in a far 
larger sense. Not only will He swallow up the covering, or 
veil, of ignorance and error, from the face of all nations, but He 
will also wipe away every tear of pain and sorrow from their 
faces. This prophecy is expressly declared in the Apocalypse 
to have its fulfilment in Christ, and in His Church glorified 
through Him. See Rev. vii. 17 ; xxi. 4. 

Thus the song of victory for the deliverance of Jerusalem 
under Hezekiah frovn the army of Sennacherib, glides, as it 
were, in a beautiful stream, and flows into the glorious sea 
of an universal Epinicium for the deliverance of the spiritual 
Jerusalem under Cheist from the power of Sin, and Satan, 
and the Grave. And now it may be said by all nations, join- 
ing in the prophetic chorus of praise, " Lo, this is our God ; 
we have waited for Him, and He will save us : this is the 
Lord ; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in 
His salvation." 

Compare the words of the Patriarch Jacob, prophesying 
of Christ : " I have waited for Thy salvation, Lord " (Gen. 
xlix. 18) J and of Simeon rejoicing in it : " Lord, now Thou 
lettest Thy servant depart in peace ; for mine eyes have seen 
Thy salvation" (Lukeii. 29, 30); and of St. Paul: "We groan 
within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, the redemption of 
our body " (Rom. viii. 23) ; and S. Irenceiis (iv. 22), expounding 
these words of Isaiah, and applying them to Christ. 

10. in this mountain] In the Zion of the Universal Church, 
which has spread forth from Jerusalem. See v. 6, and v. 7. 

— Moab shall be trodden dotvn under him] Moab, whose 
humiliation has been already predicted (chaps, xv. and xvi.), 
represents another form of enmity to God and His Church. 

Assyria, under Sennacherib, was the great heathen power 
of the world opposed to Jerusalem and to God. Moab, de- 
scended from the Patriarch Lot (Gen. xix. 37), the nephew of 

Victory of Hezehah ; ISAIAH XXV. 11, 12. XXVI. 1—6. 

and of Christ. 

Even as straw is |I trodden down for the dunghill. 
^^ And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, 

As he that swimmeth spreadeth forth Ids hands to swim : 

And he shall bring down their pride 

Together with the spoils of their hands. 
^■- And the ^ fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall he bring down, 

Lay low, and bring to the ground, even to the dust. 
XXVI. ^ In ^ that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah ; 

We have a strong city, 

•^ Salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. 
2 "= Open ye the gates, 

That the righteous nation which keepeth the f truth may enter in. 
^ Thou wilt keep him in f perfect peace, 

Whose II mind is stayed on thee, 

Because he trusteth in thee. 
* Trust ye in the Lord for ever : 

•^ For in the Lord JEHOVAH is f everlasting strength : 
^ For he bringeth down them that dwell on high ; 

* The lofty city, he layeth it low ; 

He layeth it low, even to the ground ; 

He bringeth it even to the dust. 
^ The foot shall tread it down. 

Even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy. 





II Or, threshed in 


p ch. 26. 5. 



a ch. 2. 11. 

b ch. GO. 18 

c Ps. 118. 19, 20. 

t Heb. truths. 

t Heb. peace, 
peace, cli. 57. 19. 
II Or, thought, or, 

d ch. 45. 17. 
t Heb. the ruck 
of ayes, 
Deut. 32. 4. 

e ch. 25. 12. & 
32. 19. 

Abraham, and of the same stem as Israel, and connected by 
Ruth with the family of David, is displayed in Scripture as the 
symbol of those powers which are not altogether alien from 
God's Church (as the heathen are), but, like Ammon, the 
Ishmaelites, and Edomites, — also allied by ties of kindred with 
Israel, — are not less hostile to it. Cp. Ps. Ixxxiii. 6. Jer. xxv. 21. 
The Jfalse friends of God's Church, like Moab, as well as 
her open enemies, like Assyria, will be trodden down under the 
feet of Christ, as was prophesied by Balaam (Num. xxiv. 17). 

— the dunghill] Heb. madmenah, an allusion to the name 
of the Moabitish city so called. See x. 31. Jer. xlviii. 2. 

11. he shall spread forth his hands'] God Himself shall do 
this. Such is the ease with which He will execute His judg- 
ments on His enemies. They will be weak as water, and 
unable to resist Him, as water yields to the impulse of the 
swimmer's arms ; and they will be made to buoy Him up iu 
His glorious course down the stream of victory. 

— Together with the spoils of their hands] Literally, loith 
the weavings of his hands ; — with his crafty wiles and artifices 
(see Gesen. 75), not only his proud malignity and open hate 
will be overthrown, but his insidious subtilty and secret 
conspiracy against God and His people will be baffled and 

The Song op Victoey of Hezeeiah and Judah is con- 
tinued AND expanded INTO A HyMN OF PeAISE IN THE 

Mouth of the Univeesal Chuech. 

Ch. XXVI. 1. We have a strong city] Hezekiah did all in 
his power to fortify Jerusalem (2 Chron. xxxii. 1 — 6), but his 
main trust was in the Lord (ibid. vv. 7, 8 ; cp. above, on xxii. 
8 — 11). He looked for " walls and bulwarks" in the salvation 
which God promised him by Isaiah (xxxvii. 21 — 35), " I will 
defend this city — to save it." 

Much more is this fulfilled in Christ and in His Church. 
Compare Ix. 18, " Thou shalt call thy walls Salvation" The 
salvation wrought by Christ makes the walls and bulwark of the 
Church. Cp. Ps. xlviii. 11 — 14, and Ps. xlvi. 1 — 5, a Psalm 
probably written on the occasion of the deliverance of Hezekiah 
and Jerusalem from Sennacherib's army. 

That group of Psalms (xlvi. — xlviii.), like the present 
cluster of hymns, was produced by a national deliverance, and 
expands itself into songs of praise for the Universal Redemption 
wrought by Christ. 

Vol. V. Paet ].— 73 

2. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation — may enter in] 
Hezekiah and his people had feared that they must be forced to 
open the gates of Jerusalem, that the unrighteous nation of 
Assyria, which would have spoiled them, might enter in. But 
God mercifully ordered it otherwise. And mark the glorious 
change. The gates of Zion are to be opened to all in Christ. 
Looking to Him, the prophet says, " Open ye the gates " — open 
the gates of grace in the Church mUitant, and the gates of 
glory in the Church triumphant. We are here also reminded 
of the language of two Psalms, the Psalm prophetic of the 
triumphant entry of Christ into Jerusalem (Ps. cxviii. 19, 20) : 
" Open to me the gates of righteousness : . . this gate of the Lord, 
into which the righteous shall enter :" and the Psalm of Christ's 
Ascension into the heavenly Jerusalem, " Lift up your heads, O 
ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King 
of Glory shall come in '"' (Ps. xxiv. 7. 9), to prepare a place for 
His people, " the righteous nation " (John xiv. 2, 3. Rev. xxi. 

3. Thou loilt keep him in perfect peace — ou thee] Literally, 
The mind (Heb. yetser, see Gesen. 362) that is stayed. Thou 
wilt keep, peace, peace. The mind of the believer is not only 
in peace, but it is " peace, peace." Compare the Psalmist's 
expressions, " My soul (is) silence upon God " (see on Ps. 
Ixii. 1) ; also, " I am prayer " (see Ps. cix. 4). The word 
peace is repeated here for the sake of emphasis, as it is in Ivii. 
19, " Peace, peace to him that is afar off, and to him that is 
near." It is observable, that our blessed Lord repeated this 
word peace in the same solemn manner, both before and after 
His Resurrection, in order to assure His disciples, that if their 
minds were stayed on Him they would have peaccy and he peace. 
See John xiv. 27 ; xx. 19. 21. 26. 

4. Trust ye in the LoBD for ever : for in the LoRD JEIIQ- 
VAJET] A very remarkable sentence. " Trust ye in Jehovah 
for ever : for in Jehotah Jah is an everlasting Rock." This 
passage, and that in xii. 2 (" Behold, God is my salvation ; I 
will trust, and not be afraid : for Jehovah Jah is my strength 
and my song ; He also is become my salvation ;" the conclu- 
sion of the song of praise for the victory, which, as the prophet 
there foretells, will be achieved by Christ), are the only ones iu 
Scripture where this conjunction of the adorable names Jehovah 
Jah is found. " This union is the proper Name of the Re- 
deemer in the most emphatic form ;" and it calls attention, in 
the most solemn manner, to the wonderful power and love 
wrought by God in Christ— the Rock (Matt. xvi. 18). 

Thanhsgiving of Jerusalem, 


and of llie CJmrcli, 




f Ps. 37. 23. 

g cli. 64. 5. 

h Ps. 63. 6. 
Cant. 3. 1. 

i Eccles. 8. 12. 
Rom. 2. 4. 

k Ps. 143. 10. 

I Job 34. 27. 
Ps. 28. 5. 
ch. 5. 12. 

II Or, toward thy 

II Or, for us. 

m 2 Chroii. 12. 8. 

^ The way of the just is uprightness : 

*" Thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just. 
^ Yea, ^in the way of thy judgments, Lord, have we waited for thee ; 

The desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. 
^ •' With my soul have I desired thee in the night ; 

Yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early : 

For when thy judgments are in the earth. 

The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. 
^° 'Let favour be shewed to the wicked, 

Yet will he not learn righteousness : 

In ^ the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, 

And will not behold the majesty of the Lord. 
^^ Lord, when thy hand is lifted up, ' they will not see : 

But they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy j] at the people ; 

Yea, the fire of thine enemies sliall devour them. 
^^ Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us, 

For thou also hast wrought all our works || in us. 
'^ Lord our God, 

■" Other lords beside thee have had dominion over us : 

But by thee only will we make mention of thy name. 
They are dead, they shall not live ; 

They are deceased, they shall not rise : 

Therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, 

And made all their memory to perish. 
Thou hast increased the nation, Lord, 

Thou hast increased the nation ; 

Thou art glorified : 



7. doit tveic/h the path'] Rather, dost make level his path ; 
thou makest his path straight before his face. Cp. Ps. v. 8 j 
Ixxxviii. 50 (Gesen. 677). 

9. ivhen thy judgments are in the earth — righteousness'] As 
was proved in the history of Hezekiah's deliverance, to which 
the primary reference is here. See above, on xxv. 3. 

10. Let favour he shelved to the tvicJced — majesty of the 
Lord] As was exemplified in the history of Hezekiah's pre- 
decessor, king Ahaz. See on vii. 10 — 13. 17. 

11. they shall see, and he ashamed for their envy at the 
people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them] 
Rather, They shall see and he ashamed ; (thy) zeal for the 
people, yea, the fire, shall devour thine enemies. 

The zeal for the people was what Isaiah himself described 
when he said to Hezekiah, whom he assured of God's pro- 
tection and of the destruction of the Assyrians, " The zeal of 
the Lord of hosts shall do this " (see 2 Kings xix. 31). This 
zeal, which burns (the Hebrew word for zeal, like the Greek 
and Latin, implies heat), is a fire which will devour the 

There is reason for believing that the Assyrian army, to 
■which the primary reference is here, was scorched by a hot 
pestilential wind in the valley of Hinnom, on the south of Jeru- 
salem ; and that thus the fire of God devoured the enemies. 
below, ou XXX. 33 ; xxxiii. 14 ; xxxvii. 36 ; Ixvi. 24. 

12. thou also hast ivroiight all our ivories in us] Or, for us. 
All our victory over the Assyrians, all the victory of the Church 
over her ghostly enemy, is achieved by Thee, O Lord. Cp. 
E.xod. xiv. 13. Deut. xxxii. 4. Ps. Ixxiv. 12. 1 Cor. xv. 10. 
Phil. ii. 13. Tit. ii. 11 ; iii. 4, 5. 

13. O Lord our God, other lords heside thee have had 
dominion over us : but hy thee only will tve make mention 
of thy name] In the days of Ahaz — Hezekiah's father and 
predecessor — Juduh looked to Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, 
for help against their enemies (2 Kings xvi. 6 — 9. 2 Chron. 
xxviii. 20, 21), and turned from the Lord to serve the gods 
of Damascus which smote them (2 Chron. xxvi'i. 22), and in 


everv city they bunded incense unto other gods (2 Chron. 
xxviii. 24, 25). 

But Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, delivered Judah from the 
yoke of Assyria, and " removed the high places, and brake the 
images," and " trusted in the Lord God of Israel ; so that after 
him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any 
that were before him. For he clave to the Lord, and departed 
not from following Him " (2 Kings xviii. 4 — 6). And " in 
every work tliat he began in the service of the house of God, 
and in the law, ax\A. in the commandments, to seek his God, 
he did with all his heart, and prospered" (2 Chron. xxxi. 21). 

These words of the Prophet are to be extended in all their 
fulness to Hezekiah's Great Descendant and Antitype, the 
King and Deliverer of the Israel of God, the Destroyer of all 
idolatry, and the Purifier of His Chui'ch and people — JesuS 

14. They are dead — not rise] The italic words in the text 
would be better omitted : Dead, they shall not live ; deceased, 
they shall not rise. 

Primarily, this prophecy applies to the Assyrian army, sud- 
denly cut off in one night, when its king had blasphemed God, 
and had threatened Jerusalem with destruction (2 Kings xix. 
35). Hezekiah saw the dead corpses of the Assyrians strewing 
the ground beneath the walls of Jerusalem (see xxx. 33 j xxxiii. 
14; xxxvii. 36; Ixvi. 24). 

In a secondary sense this prophecy is to be extended to all 
the enemies of Christ and of His People. 

This death of God's enemies is contrasted with the resur- 
rection of Hezekiah (see on 2 Kings xx. 5, 6. 11), and with the 
resurrection of Christ ; and with the glorious consequences of 
those two resurrection,s. See above. Prelim. Note to chap, xxv., 
and below, ou v. 19. 

— Therefore] Ox, so. Cp. Ixi. 7. Jer. ii. 33; v. 2. 

15. Thou hast increased the nation — thou hadst removed — 
ends of the earth] Rather, Thou hast increased the nation (see 
ix. 3, for the Christian significance of these words) ; Thou hast 

Frophecy of the Besurrectton ISAIAH XXVI. 16 — 19. of Christ and of IIU Church. 

Tliou haclst removed it far ^into all the ends of the earth. 
^^ Lord, " in trouble have they visited thee, 

They poured out a f prayer ivheii thy chastening ivas upon them. 
^7 Like as ° a woman with child, tliat draweth near the time of her delivery. 

Is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs ; 

So have we been in thy sight, Lord. 
^^ We have been with child, we have been in pain, 

We have as it were brought forth wind ; 

We have not wrought any deliverance in the earth ; 

Neither have ^ the inhabitants of the world fallen. 
•^ Thy dead men shall live. 

Together with my dead body shall they arise ; 

"■ Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust : 

For thy dew is as the dew of herbs, 



n Hos. 5. 15. 
+ Heb. secret 
o cb. 13. 8. 
John 16. 21. 

I) Ps. U. H. 

q Ezek.3?. 1, &.c. 

extended all the borders of the land ; that is, in a spiritual 
sense, Tliou, Lord, hast extended them so as to embrace all 
nations. This is a prophecy of the universality of the Church 
expanding itself from Zion into all lands. 

As to the verb here used {rachalc), see Ps. ciii. 12, Joel ii. 
20. Micah vii. 11. Oese7i. 766. 

16. LoED, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out 
a prayer^ This was exactly true with regard to Hezekiah, 
when in public and private distress. He visited the Lord in 
the Temple, and poured otit a prayer to Him, when he received 
Sennacherib's message (2 Kings xix. 14 — 20) ; and when at the 
same time he was stricken by sickness, and when Isaiah said to 
him, " Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die and not live. 
Then he tvu-ned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord," 
and wept sore. See 2 Kings xx. 1 — 6. 

17. 18. Like as a looman loith child — ive have been with 
child'\ This also was exactly true with regard to Hezekiah, 
who, when he heard the blasphemous menaces sent by Sen- 
nacherib, sent a message to Isaiah, saying, " This day is a day 
of trouble, and of rebuke, and blasphemy : for the children are 
come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth " 
(2 Kings xix. 3). 

18. Neither have the inJiabitants of the world fallen'] 
Eather, neither have inhabitants of earth been abortions. 
The reference to parturition is continued : We, Thy people, 
have miscarried j but the wicked — the inhabitants of the 
earth (opposed to heaven, and blaspheming Thee)— have not 
been abortions. 

The misery of Judah and Hezekiah is contrasted with the 
prosperity of Assyria and Sennacherib. The verb naphal, to 
fall, is applied to " the untimely fruit of a woman " in Hebrew, 
as the parallel words iriTTTco and cado are in Greek and Latin ; 
and nephal signifies an abortion. See Job iii. 16. Ps. Iviii. 8. 
Eccles. vi. 3. Qesen. 557 ; Fuerst, 941. 

- We may compare Job's lamentation on this seeming differ- 
ence between the condition of the wicked and the righteous, 
•' Their bull gendercth, and fxileth not ; their cow calveth, and 
casteth not her calf. They send forth their little ones like a 
flock, and their children dance" (Job xxi. 10, 11); and the 
Psalmist's, " They have children at their desire : and leave the 
rest of their substance to their babes" (Ps. xvii. 14). 

19. Thy dead men shall live'] A magnificent transition. 
Hezekiah and Judah had been lamenting by the mouth of 

the prophet, that they were like women who gave birth to 
nothing but abortions, while their enemies flourished and were 

But now mark the difference. Hezekiah himself had re- 
ceived a sentence of death from Isaiah (see on v. 16, and above, 
on 2 Kings xx. 1 — 7) ; and this sentence of death was embit- 
tered by the reflection that he had no child, and therefore not 
only his own life seemed about to be cut off', but also the royal 
race of David (to which God's gracious promises in Christ were 
annexed), to be in danger of being extinct. In addition to this, 
the Holy City and the Holy Place were in peril of destruction 
from the Assyrian army, which had just conquered the mighty 
nations of Egypt and Ethiopia, to which Hezekiah had looked 
for succoui', — and how should Jerusalem be able to stand ? 

In this crisis of private and public sorrow — whi(;h might 
"C called death — Hezekiah prayed earnestly to God for his 

people and for himself; and he received a double assm-ancc 
from God, through Isaiah, that his praj'ers were heard. " It 
came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out" (from the king) "into 
the middle court" (or from the middle court), "that the word 
of the Lord came to him, saying, Turn again, and tell Heze- 
kiah the captain of My peoj)le. Thus saith the Lord, tlie God 
of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seeti thy 
tears : ... on the third day thou shalt go up into the house of 
the Lord. And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand 
of the king of Assyria ; and I will defend this city for mine own 
sake, and for my servant David's sake " (2 Kings xx. 4—6). And 
what followed ? The army of Sennacherib was suddenly cut 
off", when it seemed to be on the point of destroying Jerusalem, 
The inhabitants of that city arose in the morning, and looked 
forth from the city, and saw the ground beneath the walls 
covered with the dead bodies of their enemies (see v. 14, and 
xxxvii. 36). "They are dead, they shall not live; they are 
deceased, they shall not rise." 

The Assyrians perished. But Hezekiah himself and Jeru- 
salem (which seemed to be dead) arose from the dead by ii 
double resurrection. Hezekiah's Resurrection was on the third 
day ; Jerusalem's Resurrection was in the third year (2 Kings 
xix. 29). 

Here was a foreshadowing of a still greater Resurrection — 
the Resurrection of Cheist. See what follows ; and so S. Iren. 
iii. 11 ; S. Rippolytus, pp. 34 and 115 (ed. Lagarde) ; Tertul- 
lian, de Resurrectione, c. 21 ; S. Augustine, de Civ. Dei, xx. 
21; S. Cyril; S. Jerome here ; A Lajnde. 

— Together with my dead body shall they arise] The italic 
words in the text would be better omitted. The sentence is, 
Fhy dead shall live ; my dead body shall they arise. As Heze- 
kiah's resurrection was the resurrection of Jerusalem, so, much 
more, the Resurrection of his great Antitype Christ on the 
third day, was the Resurrection of all His people. They are 
His body ; and His dead live, because they are Mis body. His 
Resurrection is their Resurrection, As the Apostle says, " Christ 
is risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that 
slept ;" and " as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be 
made alive " (1 Cor. xv. 22, 23. John xi. 25, 26. 1 Thess. iv. 14. 
Phil. iii. 20, 21). 

Therefore, with the ear of faith we hear the joyful sound of 
the chorus of saints, rising with their glorified bodies, and 
praising God for His mercy in Christ, in reply to the prophetic 
appeal. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust. 

We may compare the prophecy of the patriarch Job, " I 
know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the 
latter day upon the earth (or dust, which He will revive) ; and 
though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh 
shall I see God." See above, on Job xix. 25, 26. 

— thy dew is as the dew of herbs] The dew of Thy Spirit 
quickens the dead, and makes them to arise, as the morning 
dew refreshes the herbs : " Ros Domini vivificabit corpora mor- 
tuorum" {S. Jerome). See Ixvi. 14, " Your bones shall flou- 
rish like an herb ;" and cp. Dent, xxxii. 2. Ps. Ixxii. 6. Hos. 
3iiv. 6. Ecclus. xlvi. 12, " Let their bones flourish out of their 
place ;" and xlix. 10. So Kimchi, Vatablus, Vitringa ; Qesen. 
24; Fuerst, 43. 

Others render it, thy deio is the dew of lights; the dew 
of the morning loroth, see xviii. 4 ; so Vulg., Syriac, Targum, 
L 2 

UniversalJudgment. ISAIAH XXVI. 20,21. XXVII. 1—4. Salvation of the faithful. 


s Exod. 12.22, : 

t Ps. 30. 5. 
ch. 54. 7, 8. 
2 Cor. 4. 17. 

11 Micah 1. .3. 
Jude 14. 

t Ileb. bloods. 

II Or, crossing 
like a bar. 

a Ps. 74. 13, 14. 

b ch. 51. 9. 
Ezek. 29. 3. 
& 32. 2. 
c ch. 5. 1. 

Q Ps. 80. 8. 

Jei. 2. 21. 

e Ps. 121. 4, 5. 

And the earth shall cast out the dead. 
"^ Come, my people, ' enter thou into thy chambers, 

And shut thy doors about thee : 

Hide thyself as it were ' for a little moment. 

Until the indignation be overpast. 
21 For, behold, the Lord " cometh out of his place 

To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity : 

The earth also shall disclose her f blood. 

And shall no more cover her slain. 

XXVII. 1 In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword 

Shall punish leviathan the || piercing serpent, 

"" Even leviathan that crooked serpent ; 

And he shall slay ^ the dragon that is in the sea. 
2 In that day " sing ye unto her, 

•^ A vineyard of red wine. 
^ ' I the Lord do keep it ; 

I will water it every moment : 

Lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. 
^ Fury is not in me : 

Grotius, Hengst., Delitzsch, and others). If this is the true 
rendering, the best commentary on this passage is Ps. ex. 3, 
" Prom the womb of the morning is the detv of thy youth ;" 
which declares that the spiritual life and freshness of all believers, 
compared to multitudinous drops of dew sparkling in the light of 
prime (cp. on Ps. exxxiii. 3), is from the morning of the Birth 
of Christ, Who is the bright Day-spring from on high (see on 
Ps. ex. 3). So the Prophet here declares, that the dew of all 
believers rising to glory, will be from the glorious Morning 
and orient light of the Resurrection of Christ, Who is the First- 
begotten of the dead, the First-born from the womb of the 
grave. See above, on Ps. ex. 3. Col. i. 18. Rev. i. 5. 

— the earth shall cast out the dead~\ Heb. rephaim, the 
wicked deadj at the general Resurrection and Judgment (Rev. 
xxi. 3). Cp. Pusey on Daniel, p. 506. 

Punishment of the Wicked. 

After speaking of the deliverance of Hezekiah a,ud Jeru- 
salem from the arms of Assyria, and the destruction of the 
Assyrian army, and the Resurrection of the wicked {v. 19) as well 
as of the good, the Prophet proceeds to describe the punish- 
ment of Satan himself (see on xxvii. 1), and all his adherents, 
at the Great Day, 

In the foregoing description of the glory of the Resurrec- 
tion of the saints of God through the Resurrection of Christ 
(a Resurrection foreshadowed by the wonderful Resurrection of 
Hezekiah and of Jerusalem from the grave) the prophet, having 
used, in v. 19, the word rephaim for dead (see v. 19, and 
Prov. ii. 18;.ix. 18; xxi. 16), turns to the darker side of the 
picture, namely, to the punishment to be inflicted on the 
tricked at the Day of Judgment,— a punishment typified by the 
destruction of the army of Sennacherib, who impiously blas- 
phemed the Lord Goil of Hosts, and threatened Jerusalem with 

20. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers'] Here 
is an address to the faithful in the latter days. Hide thyself, by 
f.iith and repentance, in the secret chambers of religious medi- 
tation ; wait there patiently for a while, like those who flee from 
a storm ; the time of thy tribulation will only be, as it were, for 
a moment, and then the indignation of the proud oppressors will 
have passed away — like the blasphemous menaces of Sennacherib 
— and they will be summoned to judgment. 

21. hehold, the Loed cometh'] Compare Micah i. 3. Jude 14. 

— The earth also shall disclose her Mood] Literally, bloods ; 
all the innocent blood that has been shed from the time of Abel 
even to the end of the world shall be avenged. Cp. Matt, xxiii. 
35. Luke xi. 51. Rev. vi. 10. 

Ch. xxvii. 1. In that day] In the great Day of Doom. 

— the IjOUTi—shall punish] Literally, shall visit ; see the 
Words above, in the description of the General Resurrection and 


Universal Judgment in xxiv. 21, 22, to which the Prophet returns 

— leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that 
crooked serpent ; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea] 
The Lord shall visit and punish in the Great Day, Satan and 
all his agents, the proud and mighty Powers of this world, re- 
presented by his symlDols and theirs. Leviathan, the piercing 
serpent, ov flying (or apostate) serpent; words used in this 
spiritual sense in Job xxvi. 13 (where see the note with the 
commentary there given on the present passage) ; even Leviathan, 
that crooked serpent, with all his tortuous devices (cp. Ps. cxxv. 
5. and Hab. i. 5, where the cognate verb is used, and see Oesen. 
649), and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea : cp. below, 
li. 9, where the same imagery is used to describe the great and 
godless powers of this world, especially such as tliose of Egypt 
(called the "River Dragon" by Milton, P. L. xii.) Assyria, 
Babylon, and Rome, agents of Satan, — "the Old Serpent," 
and " Dragon," — the foe of the city of God ; as is suggested 
here by the Targtim, and is shown in the notes on Job 
iii. 8; xxvi. 13; xli. 1. 10. Ps. Ixviii. 1, to which the reader 
is invited to refer. See also S. Justin Martyr, c. Tryphon., 
§ 91 and § 112, who regards the " Leviathan and piercing ser- 
pent " as a name of Satan himself, and the sioord, with which he 
is slain, as an emblem of Christ. Cp. S. Jerome and S. Cyril 
here, and Vitringa, pp. 80 — 83, and Lelitzsch here, and Pusey 
on Daniel, p. 507. 

The destruction of Sennacherib's army at Jerusalem has 
led the Prophet by an easy transition to describe this great and 
universal catastrophe. The sight of the dead corpses of the 
Assyrians lying, scorched by the fire of a pestilential wind, 
beneath Jerusalem in the valley of Hinnom (sec xxx. 33), might 
well suggest a vision of Gehenna itself, and of the burnings of 
the Lake of fire. See on xxxiii. 14, and Ixvi. 34. 

The fuller development of this prophecy in all the awful 
grandeur of its terrific details may be seen in the Apocalypse 
(Rev. xix. 19—21 ; xx. 6—14). 

God's Vineyard, Jerusalem — Its destruction {vv. 10, 11), 
and its subsequent universal fructification in the 
Gospel of Christ {v. 6). 

2. In that day — a vineyard of red wine] Rather, In that 
day (there will be) a vineyard of strong (\\t. fervent) wine ; (the 
J'ulg. has " Vinea meri ;") sing ye to it. The Vineyard of God's 
Church at Jerusalem described above in v. 1 — 7 is here called a 
vineyard of pure and potent wine, representing unadulterated 
doctrine (cp. i. 22), and the fervent zeal of those who preach it 
{Vitringa). Cp. Gen. xhx. 11, 12. Ps. Ixxx. 8. 14. Jer. ii. 21. 
Cant. viii. 11. 

4. Funi is not in me] God does not punish willingly (Lam. 
iii. 33). 'lie willeth all men to be saved (1 Tim. ii. 4. 2 Pet. 

Promise to Israel 


on their repentance. 

Who would sot ''the briers and thorns against me in battle ? 

I would II go through them, 

I would burn them together. 

Or let him take hold ^ of my strength, 

lliat he may '' make peace with me ; 

And he shall make peace with me. 

He shall cause them that come of Jacob ' to take root : 
Israel shall blossom and bud, 
And fill the face of the world with fruit. 

Hath he smitten him, f as he smote those that smote him ? 
Or is he slain according to the slaughter of them that are slain by him ? 
In measure, || when it shooteth forth, thou wilt debate with it : 
II ' He stayeth his rough wind in the day of the east wind. 
^ By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged ; 
And this is all the fruit to take away his sin ; 
When he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten 

in sunder. 
The groves and || images shall not stand up. 
^^ Yet the defenced city shall he desolate, 

And the habitation forsaken, and left like a wilderness : 

■" There shall the calf feed. 

And there shall he lie down, and consume the branches thereof. 

8 k 

cum ST 
f 2 Sam. 23.6. 
cli. 9. 18. 
II Or, march 
g ch. 25. 4. 
h Job 22. 21. 

ich. 37. 31. 
Hos. 14. 5, 6. 

t Heb. according 
to the stroke 
of tliose, 

k Job 23. G. 
Ps. ti. 1. 
Jer. 10. 24. & 
30. 11. & 4C. 28. 

I Cor. 10. 13. 

II Or, ivlien thou 
sendest it forth, 
II Or, when he 
rcmoveth it. 

1 Ps. 78. 38. 

II Or, sun images. 

m Seech. 17. 2. 
& 32. 14. 

iii. 9), but if men will not turn and repent and believe, then 
He will whet His sword and destroy them (Ps. vii. 13). Cj). 
Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7. Nahum i. 6, 7. 

— Who would set — thorns] Though fury is not in God, yet if 
men will be like evil soil, bringing forth thorns and briars, 
" which are nigh unto cursing " (Heb. vi. 8), then they must 
expect to be consumed. Cp. above, ix. 18, and 2 Sam. xxiii. 6. 

— in battle? I tvould go through thent] Rather, I would go 
against them in hattle. The interrogation ought to be after the 
word me, and not after hattle, which belongs to what follows, as 
in Sept. 

5. Or let him— with me] This may be rendered. Or rather 
(see Oesen. 17) let him take hold of My strength (let him stay 
himself on Me as his support), let him malce peace with Me (yea 
I say), peace loilh Me. The word peace is repeated here, as it 
is in the foregoing chapter (xxvi. 3), to show in an emphatic 
manner God's merciful desire that all men should repent, and be 
at peace with Him in Christ. Cp. Ivii. 19, " Peace, peace to 
him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord " — 
words adopted by the Apostle and applied to Christ, " Who is our 
Peace " (Eph. ii. 14—17). 

6. He shall cause them that come of Jacob to taTce root: 
Israel shall blossom and bud, and Jill the face of the toorld tvith 
fruit] Though the Vineyard of Jerusalem has been made desolate 
for her sins, yet Christ and His Apostles have sprung forth from 
it, and have filled the world with fruit (-S*. IrencBus, iv. 9). Cp. 
xxxvii. 31 ; liv. 3. 

This section (xxvii. 6 — xxviii. 13) was appointed by the He- 
brew Church to be read in the Synagogue, as a Prophetic Proper 
Lesson, together with Exod. i. 1 — vi. 1, which describes the dis- 
ciplme of Israel in Egj'pt. Cp. xxix. 22, 23. 

7. Hath he smitten him] Hath GoJ smitten Israel, as God 
smote Israel's enemies, the Assyrians and others ? No ; God hath 
not dealt with Israel as with the Nations of the heathen, but 
has left a remnant in all His chastisements. See i. 9; x. 21; 
xlvi. 3. Jer. iv. 27 ; xxx. 11. 

8. In measure — thou ivilt debate with it] In measure (lit. in a 
seah, the third part of an Ephah ; the Greek and Latin satiim ; 
Matt. xiii. 33. Luke xiii. 21), that is, moderately {Gesen, 575. 
Cp. John iii. 34), Thou didst punish it (viz. Israel), ^vhen Thou 
didst send it away ; that is, when Thou didst send away and 
scatter Israel, Thou didst it with a measure, always re- 
serving a remnant of gooi grain, to be sown again in the 
laud, and to bear fruit. See above, on xxi. 10, where Babylon is 


compared to God's threshing-floor, on which His people were 
threshed and winnowed. 

— He stayeth his rough loind, or rather, he removeth (i. e. 
wnnoweth, purgeth, see Prov. xxv. 4) with his rough blast (of 
affliction) in the day of the east toind] He sifts Israel, but 
never destroys it ; ' not the least gi-ain falls to the earth ' (Amos 
ix. 9). Cp. below, v. 12 ; and see what follows here. 

9. Py this — purged] This is the merciful purpose of God's 
chastisement of Israel — to sift the chaff away from the wheat, to 
purge away the dross from the pure ore (xlviii. 10. Zech. xiii. 9. 
1 Pet. i. 7). 

— £y this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged — 
shall not stand up] The fruit of God's chastisement of Israel 
will be, to purge away her sins, especially her sin of idolatry. 

This was marvellously fulfilled, in the Captivity of Israel in 
Assyria, and of Judah at Babylon. However some individuals 
among the Jews may have lapsed into idolatry (see on Ixv. 3, 4), 
the Hebrew Nation, which was once prone to idolatry of every 
kind, has, as a Nation, been free from it since its exile. See 
above, Introd. to Ezra, p. 299. 

The Prophet's words are to be interpreted thus: The iniquity 
of Israel will be purged by this (i. e. by affliction); and this is 
all the fruit of the talcing away of his sin (see below, lix. 20, 
and Rom. xi. 26), namely, when he, — that is, Israel, — maketh all 
altar-stones (of his idolatrous altars) to be like chalkstones to 
be beaten asunder (into lime that is burnt in the kiln), the groves 
(or rather, the asherim, or images of Astarte and of the sun, see 
above, xvii. 8) shall not stand up, but be broken in pieces. 
Compare the actions of the good King Josiah, in his Reforma- 
tion, when he brake down the idolatrous images (2 Kings xxiii. 
6, 7—14. 2 Chron. xxxiv. 3—7). 

10. Yet the defenced city shall be desolate — there shall the 
calf feed] Yet for the sins of Jerusalem it shall be made 

The Prophet, who has been speaking of God's Vineyard, 
the House of Israel (see v. 2), takes up here the words which 
he had used before, in his prophecy concerning its desolation. 
See above, chap. v. 1 — 7, compared with «. 17, " Then shall 
the lambs feed after their manner," in their pasture ; and vii. 
21 — 25 : " And it shall come to pass in that day, that a man 
shall nourish a young cow .... the land shall become briers 
and thorns. ... It shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and 
for the treading of lesser cattle." Cp. Lxiv. 10, 11. 

Thia was fulfilled primarily in the destruction of Jerusalem 

Gatliering of Israel. ISAIAH XXVII. 11—13. XXVIII. 1, 2. Woe to Ephraim, 

n Deut. 32. 28. 
ch. 1. 3. 
Jer. 8. 7. 

o Deut. 32. 18. 
ch. 43. 1, 7. & 
44. 2, 21, 24. 

pch. 2. 11. 

q Matt. 24. 31. 
Rev. 11. 15. 

a ver. 3. 
b ver. 4. 

t Heb. broken. 

^^ When tlie boiiglis thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: 

The women come, and set them on fire : 

For " it is a people of no understanding : 

Therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, 

And ° he that formed them will shew them no favour. 
^2 And it shall come to pass in that day, 

That the Lord shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream 
of Egypt, 

And ye shall be gathered one by one, ye children of Israel. 
'^ p And it shall come to pass in that day, 

•^ That the great trumpet shall be blown. 

And they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, 

And the outcasts in the land of Egypt, 

And shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem. 

XXVIII. ^ Woe to ^ the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, 
Whose ^ glorious beauty is a fading flower, 

Which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are f overcome with 
wine ! 
2 Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one. 

by the Chalclfeans, and much more in the desolation by the 
armies of Rome. 

11. a people of no understanding'] Such is tlie description 
which Scripture gives of the unbelieving portion of Israel. 
See Deut. xxxii. 28, 29 j above, i. 3; and Jer. iv. 22: "They 
have none understanding;" therefore they are rejected by God, 
Who made them. 

12. And it shall come to pass] But though Jerusalem is 
trodden down, yet a remnant will be saved ; — the Lord tvill 
heat ojf, — observe this word (Heb. chahat), applied to the 
beating of an olive-tree in Deut. xxiv. 20, and to the beating 
of wheat by threshing it with a stick, as was done by Ruth 
(see on Ruth ii. 17), and by Gideon (see on Judg. vi. 11) ; 
and compare below, xxviii. 27, in all which places this word is 
used ; and see Oesen, 256. 

This word shows the minute carefulness with which the 
Lord winnows out His elect remnant from the husk and chaff; 
His threshing-floor would be a vast one, wherever Israel was 
scattered, from the Euphrates to the brook of Egypt (cp. Gen. 
XV. 18. 1 Kings viii. 65) ; and yet each grain would be 
gathered one hy one, so that not a single one would be lost 
(Amos ix. 9. Cp. Jer. iii. 14). 

This imagery presents a picture of the great work of our 
Future Judge at the Last Day. All the World is His thresh- 
ing-floor ; all Nations will be like sheaves upon it ; and He 
'will throughly purge Hisjloor. See Matt. iii. 12. 

13. And it shall come to pass in that day'] Here is a second 
promise, which extends beyond Palestine, even to the two 
poles of the Hebrew world in the days of Isaiah— Assyria and 
Egypt. All the outcasts of Israel shall be gathered from 
thence, as by the trumpet of the Jubilee (Lev. xxv. 9), and 
shall worship God at Jerusalem. 

This was fulfilled in part in the Restoration of the Jews 
by the edict of Cyrus, after the taking of Babylon (see 
2 Chron. xxxvi. 22, 23. Ezra i. 3, 4). Much more was it ful- 
filled, in a higher spiritual sense, on the day of Pentecost, 
•when Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven, were 
gathered into the true Sion of Christ's Church (see above, on 
xix. 24, 25) ; and it is ever being fulfilled in that Ziou, which 
is called by Isaiah the " Mountain of the Lord's house " (ii. 2), 
and"Zion, and Jerusalem, the holy city " (Iii. 1. Cp. xxviii. 
16), and by the Apostle, "the Mount Sion, the city of the 
living God " (Heb. xii. 22, 23) ; and which, as the Psalmist 
describes it, is extended into all lands, and enfolds even Egypt 
and Babylon, Philistia, Tyre, and Ethiopia. See on Ps. Ixxxvii. 
1 — 7; and cp. above, on ii. 2; xix. 24, 25; below, on Ivi. 2; 
Ixii. 1—9 ; and Ixv. 18—23 ; Ixvi. 10—12. Zech. xiv. 16. S. 
Jerome here says that this prophecy speaks of the days of 
the Gospel, when men in all nations " venient ad fidem Christi, 
ut adorent Eum in EcclesiS,;" and so S. Curil, and Theodoret. 

Recapittjlation and Expansion. — Tee Six Woes. 

The following six chapters (xxviii. — xxxiii.) are a sequel 
to the foregoing denunciation of Judgment. They contain Six 
Woes, denounced on the ungodly : — first, of God's own People 
(for judgment begins with the " house of God," 1 Pet. iv. 
17. 'Ezek. ix. 6) ; and then, of the World. 

They commence with a denunciation on God's own people 
Israel at Samaria, for pride and sensuality. Next, they are 
directed against the ungodly rulers and people of Jerusalem, 
for their blindness, pride, obstinacy, and ; for want 
of trust in God; for resorting to earthly helps, such as 

These Woes are tempered with promises of mercy and 
grace in Cheist, and v/ith assurances of protection to the 
faithful, against all the enemies of God and His people. 

They are followed by denunciation of woes on God's open 
enemies, the impious powers of this World (xxxiii. 1), such as 
Assyria, and Babylon, and on those godless powers which are 
connected with God's people by some ties of kindred and 
affinity (such as Edom), but are treacherous and cruel to it. 

These Woes extend to the latter Days, and pass into the 
Woes pronounced by Christ in Matt, xxiii. 13 — 29, and into 
the Woes of the Apocalypse (ix. 12 ; xi. 14), and into the final 
Woe of the Great Day of Doom. 

Ch. XXVIII. Woe on Samaeia and Iseael. 

The Prophet, having been brought down in his prophecy 
to the days of Israel's restoration in Christ (xxvii. 6. 12, 13), 
now returns to his own age, hefore Israel had been can-ied 
into captivity, and the kingdom of Israel destroyed (in B.C. 721) ; 
and he addresses a prophetic warning to Israel, and its capital 

The fulfilment of this prophecy, in part, in Isaiah's own 
time, served as a public pledge of the truth of his predictions, 
and as an evidence of his Divine mission, and gave greater 
authority to his other prophecies, which extend even in the 
present chapter to the Coming of Christ (z). 16), and to the end 
of time («w. 19—22). 

1. HFoe to the crown of pride] The natural beauty of the 
situation of Samaria, — like a royal diadem of Israel, — has been 
described above in the note on 1 Kings xvi. 24. Cp. Amos iii. 9 j 
iv. 1 ; vi. 1. 

— to the driinJcards] Or, of tlie drunTcards. The Prophet 
seems to anticipate the name Sychar, probably derived from 
drunkenness. Cp. Lightfoot, on John iv. 5. 

— Whose glorious beauty] Rather, and to the fading flower 
of its glorious beauty. 

2. a mighty and strong one] Shalmancser, and his successor, 
Sargon. See on 2 Kings xvii. 5, 6 ; xviii. 10. 

Woe to rehclUous Israel. 

ISAIAH XXVIII. 3 — 9. Promise, in Christ, to the meeh 

" Which as a tempest of liail and a destroying storm, 

As a flood of mighty waters overflowing, 

Shall cast down to the earth with the hand. 
^ '' The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, 

Shall be trodden f under feet : 
^ And ® the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, 

Shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer ; 

Which tchen he that looketh upon it seeth, 

While it is yet in his hand he f eateth it up. 
^ In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, 

And for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, 
^ And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment. 

And for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate. 
^ But they also *^have erred through wine. 

And through strong drink are out of the way ; 

^ The priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, 

They are swallowed up of wine. 

They are out of the way through strong drink ; 

They err in vision, they stumble in judgment. 
^ For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, 

So that there is no place clean. 

^ '' Whom shall he teach knowledge ? 





c ch. 30. 30. 

Ezek. 13. 11. 

d ver. 1. 

■f Heb. wilh feel. 

e vei. 1. 

t Heb. swallow- 

f Prov. 20. 1. 
Has. 4. 11. 

g ch. 5G. 10, 12. 

And whom shall he make to understand f doctrine ? 

h Jer. 6. 10. 

f Heb. the 
hearing t 

4. the hasty fruif] The early fig. 

5. In that day'] The prophet looks forward from the day of 
Samaria's destruction, and the scattering of Israel by Assyria, 
to that glorious day of Israel's restoration in Christ. Observe 
the contrast here. He had begun his prophecy by saying 
(v. 1), "Woe to the crotvn of pride, to the drunkards of 
Ephraim, whose glorious heauty is a fading flower;" and he 
had said that this eroivn ot pride should be trodden under 
foot {v. 4) ; but He now reveals the gracious assurance, that 
when the fading crown of its earthly glory, on which it prided 
itself, has fallen fi'om its head, then the Lord Himself shall 
be to the remnant of His People a crown of glory, and a diadem 
of beauty. 

Christ is described in the Apocalypse as wearing a crown 
of victory on His head (Rev. vi. 2), and also as having on 
His head many crowns, royal diadems (Rev. xix. 12). His 
Church has a crown of twelve stars on her head (see Rev. xii. 1), 
and He will give to His people an unfading crown of glory 
(1 Pet. V. 4). He Himself will be their crown (Rev. vii. 13). 

" The Lord Himself shall dignify and adorn His people by 
His presence in the purity of His ordinances and religion. 
The other two benefits here mentioned concern their civil 
good, — justice flourishing within, and wealth and opulency 
from without ; so, doubtless, this glory and beauty is religion 
as the chiefest of the three, and the other two are its at- 
tendants. Purity of religion and worship is the croivn and 
glory of a people. Let no man take this crown from you. 
You know how busy the emissaries of the Church of Rome 
have been to take this cro^Ti from us ; or at least to pick the 
diamonds out of it, and to put in false counterteit ones in their 
places. They stole away the power of religion, and filled up 
the room with shadows and fopperies of their own devising. 
It is the vanity of that Church to think that they adorn the 
worship of God, when they dress it up with splendour in her 
service, which, though some magnify it so much, yet 
may most truly be called a glistering slavery and captivity. 
It is vanity in men when they dress it up with a multitude of 
gaudy ceremonies, and make it the smallest part of itself; 
whereas, its true glory consists, not in pomp, but in purity. 
In the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse we find the Church 
under the name of a Woman, richly attired indeed, but her 
ornaments are all heavenly. The Sun (which is Chi-ist) is her 
clothing (see below, on Rev. xii. 1 — 6), her crown is of twelve 
stars (Apostolic doctrine). There., is another Woman in that 
same book, arrayed in pui'plc and scarlet, decked with gold and 

precious stones, and having a golden cup in her hand, full of 
abominations ; and she is ' the mother of abominations ' (Rev. 
xvii. 4). The natural man judgeth according to his reach; 
but to a spiritual eye there is most genuine beauty in the 
service of God, and the government of His house, when they 
are nearest to the rule, the Word of God. Then it is that the 
Lord Himself is the croivn and diadem of His Church" 
{Archbishop Leighton, Senn. on Isaiah, xxviii. 5, 6). 

6. tJiat turn the battle to the gate] Or, drave bach the 
battle at the gate. The battle which rushed on like a torrent, 
to burst through the gate (see «. 2), — the gate of the holy city. 
Cp. xxii. 7 ; xlv. 2. Judg. v. 8. 

In the days of the Gospel, the Lord will not only be the 
grace and glory of His faithful people, but He will be their 
wisdom and strength. 

7. The priest and the prophet have erred through strong 
drink] Contrary to the express law of God (Lev. x. 9). 

The True Israel of God.— Their Meek Temper. — The 
PEEACHiNa OP Christ and the Apostles. 

9. Whom shall he teach knowledge ?] Whom shall the Lord 
teach ? This is said of the Lord's teaching, as is clear fi-om 
St. Paul's quotation of v. 11, in 1 Cor. xiv. 20, 21 ; and S. 
Jerome here, " Quis dignus est doctrina Domini ?" To whom 
shall Christ reveal the mysteries of the kingdom ? Not to 
those who are proud, like the Israel just described by the 
Prophet {vv. 1 — 3), and who err in vision, and stumble in 
judgment (v. 7). No ; but to those who are despised by them 
as babes. See our Lord's words (Matt. xi. 25) : " I thank 
Thee, O Father, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise 
and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes." Cp. Mark 
X. 15 : " Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God 
as a little child, he shall not enter therein;" and Matt. 
xxi. 16 : " Have ye never read. Out of the mouth of babes 
and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise ? " See Ps. viii. 2 ; 
and note on Ps. cxxxi. 2 : " I have quieted myself, as a child 
that is tveaned of {or on) his mother : my soul is even as a tveaned 
child," where the word for tveaned is the same as here {gamill). 
A child weaned and drawn from the breast, reposes passively 
in greater quietness on its mother's bosom than one who has 
not been weaned, and which makes eager eff'orts to draw 
nourishment from her breast. Such, as the Psalmist and the 
Prophet describe it, is the believer's humble trust and perfect 
repose on God. 

Promises to the humble. 


Woe to the 'proud. 


cm: 1ST 


H Or, hath been. 

t Heb. stammer- 
ings of lips. 
i 1 Cor. 14. 21. 
II Or, he hath 


k Amos 2. 4. 

Them thai are weaned from the milk, 

And drawn from the breasts; 
10 Yqic precept j| must he upon precept, precept upon precept, 

Line upon Hne, line upon line, 

Here a little, and there a little : 
^1 For with f ' stammering lips and another tongue 

II Will he speak to this people. 
'- To whom he said, 

This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest ; 

And this is the refreshing : 

Yet they would not hear. 
^^ But the word of the Lokd was unto them 

Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, 

Line upon line, line upon line ; 

Here a little, and there a little ; 

That they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, 

And snared, and taken. 
^* Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men. 

That rule this people which is in Jerusalem ; 
^^ Because ye have said. 

We have made a covenant with death, 

And with hell are we at agreement ; 

When the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us ; 

" For we have made lies our refuge. 

And under falsehood have we hid ourselves : 
Therefore thus saith the Lord God, 


10. For precept must be (or, will be) vpon precept] The 
Prophet is foretelling the character of the preaching of the 
Gospel by Christ and His Apostles, which will be despised as 
"foolishness," — like the elementary teaching of infants, — by 
the so-called wise and prudent of this world. See 1 Cor. ii. 1. 
4. 13. 17. 

— Line upon line'] Rule upon rule. The Heb. ^av is pro- 
perly a measuring Une; hence any thing that regulates {Gesen. 
726). The simple authoritative utterance of proverbs and 
parables, and the addition of precepts to precepts, and of rules 
to rules, which characterized our Blessed Lord's teaching, par- 
ticularly in the Sermon on the Mount, is here described. 

This mode of teaching {line upon line) was despised by 
the wise and prudent; but it has conquered the World; as 
the Psalmist foretold, " Their line is gone out through all the 
earth, and their words to the end of the world " (Ps. xix. 5). 

11. ivith stammering lips and another tongue will he speah 
to this people] Observe the connexion. The first moral test 
applied to prove the temper of Israel, was the character and 
method of Christ's teaching and ministry. The second trial 
was by that of the Apostles. 

This prophecy was fulfilled at the Day of Pentecost, when 
God spake to the Jews at Jerusalem by stammering lips, that 
is, by lips of Apostles whom many despised as " ignorant and 
unlearned" Galileans, and as speaking their own language 
inelegantly. See Matt. xxvi. 73. Mark xiv. 70: "Ai'e not 
all these which speak Galileans ? And how hoar we, every 
man in our own tongue, wherein we were born ?" (Acts ii. 7, 8. 
Cp. Acts iv. 13) ; and they spake by what the sacred historian 
calls other tongues (Acts ii. 4. Cp. Mark xvi. 17, new tongues), 
" as the Spirit gave them utterance." 

This interpretation is authorized by St. Paul, referring to 
these words in 1 Cor. xiv. 20, 21, where his words coincide 
with the Version of Aquila. 

12. To whom he said] Christ by Himself and His Apostles 
invited the Jews to find rest, — the only true rest, — in Him 
(Matt. xi. 28. Acts ii. 88; iii. 19. Cp. below, xxx. 15. 
Jcr. vi. 16. John i. 11; iii. 19. Heb. iv. 1. 11; xii. 25), but 
they would not hear. 

13. Bid the word of the Loed was unto them precept— thai 
they might go, and fall backtoard, and be broken, and snared, 
and taken] The Prophet declares the reason why the preach- 
ing of the Gospel by Christ and His Apostles would be thus 
plain and simple, namely, that it might be a moral test to men, 
and might prove whether they had the proper temper and 
dispositions of meekness and humility requisite for the king- 
dom of heaven. That preaching would be plain, in order 
that the simple might understand it ; and that the proud, if 
they would, might despise it ; and so, by their rejection of that 
which the simple gladly received (and by which, when they 
gladly received it, and kept it, they were saved), the " wise and 
prudent," "the scornful men" (as Isaiah here calls them, 
V. 14) of this world might pronounce their own condemnation 
on themselves. See on 2 Cor. ii. 15, 16; and cp. 1 Cor. i. 18; 
iv. 3 ; and what is said of Christ Himself as " set for the fall 
of some, and the rising of others" (Luke ii. 34), and what 
the Prophet himself says here in v. 16 ; and the notes below, 
oh Rev. xi. 5. 

14. ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in 
Jerusalem] The Holy Spirit illumines Isaiah's prophetic eye 
to see not only the scoffers of his own day, but to behold 
also the proud looks of the malignant Scribes and Pharisees, 
who cavilled and carped at our Blessed Lord, and endeavoured 
to entangle Him in His talk, and who despised His Apostles 
and their preaching (see below, xxix. 20) ; and he denounces 
God's judgments upon them. See S. Cyril, and S. Jerome 

15. Because ye have said. We have made a covenant with 
death] This also was the vain-glorious spirit and language of 
self-assurance which characterized the Rulers of Jerusalem 
in its last days, before the Chaldsean invasion (see above, ix. 
15, 16. Jer. xxxvi. 24 ; xxxvii. 9, 10), and before its destruc- 
tion by the Romans, when their hopes of security were buoyed 
up by false prophets. See below, on Matt. xxiv. 11. 

The Sure Foundation-stone iaid in Zion. 

16. Therefore thus saith the Lord GoD, Behold, Hay in Zion 
— a stone, a tried stone] Or rather, a stone of trial (hence the 

The sure foundation. 

ISAIAH XXVIII. 17—21. The certainty of Judgment. 

Behokl, I lay in Zion for a foundation ' a stone, 

A tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation : 

He that believeth shall not make haste. 

Judgment also will I lay to the line, 
And righteousness to the plummet : 
And the hail shall sweep away '" the refuge of lies, 
And the waters shall overflow the hiding place ; 
And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, 
And your agreement with hell shall not stand ; 
When the overflowing scourge shall pass through, 
Then ye shall be f trodden down by it ; 
From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you : 
For morning by morning shall it pass over, 
By day and by night : 

And it shall be a vexation only || to understand the report ; 
^** For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it 
And the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it. 
For the Lord shall rise up as in mount " Perazim, 
He shall be wroth as in the valley of ° Gibeon, 
That he may do his work, ^ his strange work ; 
And bring to pass liis act, his strange act. 




1 Gen. 49. 24. 
Ps. 118. 22. 
Matt. 21. 42. 
Acts 4. 11. 
Rom. 9. 33. & 
10. 11. 
Eph. 2. 20. 
I Pet. 2. 6, 7, 3. 
m ver. 15. 

f TIeh. a treailh.j 
down lo it. 

11 Or, when hi- 
shiill miike you 
til unilfistnnd 

n 2 Sam. 5. 20. 

1 Chron. 14. 11. 

Josh. 10. 10, 12. 

2 Sam. 5. 25. 

1 Chron. 14. IG. 
p Lam. 3. 33. 

word " therefore" is explained) : this stoue is not only a trial 
stone, but it is a stone of trial (" lapis explorationis ;" lapis 
Lydius, Vitringa) for others, to prove what their moral disposi- 
tions are. See the margin above, on v. 13 ; and on the sense of 
the Hebrew verb hachan, to try, whence this substantive is de- 
rived, see Job xxiii. 10. Jer. ix. 9. Zech. xiii. 9. Mai. iii. 10. 

Christ is not only a corner stone, but a touchstone. 

Even the Chaldee Targum applies this passage to a " mighty 
King ;" and many Hebrew Doctors (as Jarchi) refer it to the 
Messiah ; and that this passage refers to Him is certain fi-om 
the adoption of it, together with viii. 14, by St. Paul, applying 
it to Him in Rom. ix. 33, where he expounds a stone of trial by 
"stone of stumhling ;" and St. Peter also, referring to these 
two passages of Isaiah, specifies Christ's double character of 
testing as well as of supporting ; so that sovae fall by Him, 
while others are built upon Him ; see 1 Pet. ii. 6 — 8 j and our 
Lord's own words. Matt. xxi. 44. Cp. 1 Cor. iii. 10. 

This foundation-stone is laid in ZiON; for, however evil 
the rulers of Zion may be, God's promises to Zion, the city of 
David, do not fail. Zion is the Mother of Christendom. See 
above, on ii. 3; below, liv. ] ; Ixii. 1. 

— shall not make haste'] Literally, toill not flee for fear 
and in shame {Syriac, Gesen. 267, 268) ; hence the Sept. para- 
phrases it "will not he ashamed ;" and so St. Paul and St. 
Peter, in the passages just cited. 

17. Judgment — pZi«»n?ie^] Rather, says the Divine Archi- 
tect, / xoill lay justice for a line, and righteousness for a 
plummet, in building My Church on this Foundation-stone. 
See Eph. ii. 19-22. 

— And the hail shall sioeep'] Observe the double work of 
God, — building up Truth immovably on Christ, the Rock, and 
sweeping away all falsehood as with a hailstorm and a torrent. 

19. From the time — report~\ Rather, Whenever it (the Judg- 
ment of God) goeth forth, it tvill take you (it will seize and 
carry away the unbelievers) ; for it shall pass by on every 
morning, by day and by night, and it will be only a terror to 
understand the report, of the fearful sermon of God's Judg- 
ment on the ungodly. The word rendered report is shemuah 
(lit. hearing, or a thing heard), and it has a double sense ; 

(1) It signifies a thing preached and heard, as below, v. 
29, where it is rendered doctrine. See also liii. 1, and the 
margin here. 

{2) It means a rumour, especially an alarming one, as in 
X. 22 ; xxxvii. 7. Cp. Jer. xlix. 14. 23 ; Ii. 46. Ezek. vii. 26. 
Chad. 1. 

In the present passage, the Prophet uses this word with a 
reference to this double sense. He says, that to the unbelieving 
Vol. V. Pabt I.— 81 

it will be only vexation, or rather, only a terrible thing, to under- 
stand the rumour of God's awful Coming to execute judgment 
(see 11. 21) ; whereas it would have been only a delight to under- 
stand the doctrine of God coming to save. The shemuah of 
Christ's first Advent to save, is unmixed Joy to the good ; the 
shemuah of His second Advent to judge, will be unmixed Terror 
to the wicked. They who were unwilling to understand the 
former, will be constrained to feel the latter. 

20. For the bed is shorter] In that awful visitation of the 
storm of God's wrath at the Day of Doom, all attempts of the 
unbeliever to justify himself, or to obtain help from any earthly 
defence against the terrors of God's indignation, will be as 
fruitless as for a man to endeavour to repose at ease on a bed 
which is too short for him, or to cover himself from the cold 
and rain by a cloak which he cannot wrap round him. 

21. in mount Perazim] Where God destroyed the Philis- 
tines, who were panic-stricken by a rumour from the Lord 
breaking forth upon them, with a sound in the mulberry-trees 
(2 Sam. v. 18-24). 

The Syrians were alarmed by a similar rumoiir (2 Kings 
vii. 6), and so Sennacherib and the Assyrians were,* see ou 
2 Kings xix. 7. How much more terrible will be the sound, 
when " the Lord Himself shall descend with a shout, with the 
Voice of the Archangel, and with the Trump of God" at the 
Last Day ! (1 Thess. iv. 16.) 

— as in the valley of Gibeon] When Joshua (the type of 
Jesxts coming to judge, and to subdue all His enemies) routed 
the kings of Canaan, on whom God cast down great hailstones ; 
and God hearkened to his prayer, and extended the sunlight till 
he had destroyed them. See the notes above, on Josh. x. 12, 13, 
and 16 — 26, where the typical and prophetic relation of tliose 
events to Christ's second Coming is enlarged upon ; and see 
the reference in the Apocalypse to that judicial visitation (Rev. 
xvi. 21). 

— That he may do his work — act] Rather, that He may 
work His tvork ; strange is Sis work ; and may act His act ; 
strange (lit. foreign) is His act. The words here rendered 
strange are two, zur and nochri ; both of which are applied in 
Scripture to signify strange gods, strange worship (see above, 
on Prov. ii. 16, " the strange woman ") ; and the sense is, that 
as the unbelievers have forsaken the true God, and have fol- 
lowed strange gods, or have put forth strange speculations, and 
have taught strange doctrines, so will they be puuished in a 
strange manner, foreign to all their expectations, and contrary 
to all their confident denials of future condemnation. Cp. 
Wisd. xvi. 16; xvii. 3—6; xviii. 15—17. 


Be not mocTcers. 


GocVs moral hnsbandry. 





q ch. 10 22, 23. 
Dan. 9. 27. 



II Or, Ihe wheal 
in the principal 
place, and barlry 
in the appointed 
II Or, spelt. 
t Heb. biirder? 
II Or, And he 
bindeth it in such 
sort as his Gad 
doth teach him. 

- Now therefore be ye not mockers, 
Lest your bands be made strong : 

For I have heard from the Lord God of hosts "^ a consumption, 
Even determined upon the whole earth. 

Give ye ear, and hear my voice ; 

Hearken, and hear my speech. 

Doth the plowman plow all day to sow ? 

Doth he open and break the clods of his ground ? 

When he hath made plain the face thereof, 

Doth he not cast abroad the fitches, 

And scatter the cummin. 

And cast in || the principal wheat 

And the appointed barley and the || rie in their f place ? 

11 For his God doth instruct him to discretion. 

And doth teach him. 
"^ For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, 

Neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin 

But the fitches are beaten out with a staff. 

And the cummin with a rod. 
^^ Bread corn is bruised ; 

Because he will not ever be threshing it. 

Nor break it ivith the wheel of his cart, 

Nor bruise it with his horsemen. 
2^ This also cometh forth from the Lokd of hosts, 


r Ps. 92. 5. 
Jer. 32. 19. 

"■ Which is wonderful in counsel, 

and excellent in working. 

22. be ye not mockers'] Cp. Hab. i. 5. Acts xiii. 40. 

— a consumption, even determined] Words adopted by tlie 
Prophet Daniel, and applied by him (ix. 27) to the destruction 
of Jerusalem by the Romans, which was an historical fore- 
shadowing (as our Lord has declared) of the future Judgiuent 
on all unbelievers at the Great Day. See on Matt. xxiv. 29 — 

23 — 29. Give ye ear — worMng] The Prophet concludes his 
address by a mashal, or parable, which may be compared with 
those of Solomon and of our Blessed Lord Himself. See above, 
Introd. to Proverbs, p. ix. By his preamble, " Give ye ear, and 
hear my voice ; hearken, and hear my speech," he prepares the 
way for the preaching of Christ, Wlio said, " He that hath ears 
to hear, let him hear" (Matt. xi. 15). 

By reference to human works of husbandry, which have 
been taught by God Himself (y. 29), he declares, that in all 
God's dealings with mankind, every thing is done with perfect 
discrimination and wisdom. The whole World is the field of 
the Divine Husbandman (cp. Matt. xiii. 38). He plants it 
with different kinds of crops, each of which is treated with a 
tillage and culture fitted to it. He does each of His works of 
moral and spiritual Agriculture in its proper season ; and all 
the World will be His threshing-floor, in which each kind of 
grain will be dealt with in a manner suited to its character. 

Thus the Prophet prepares the way for the language of the 
Gospel, " Ye are God's husbandry " (1 Cor. iii. 9) ; and " His 
fan is in His hand, and He will throughly purge His floor, and 
gather His wheat into the garner ; but He wiU burn up the 
chaff with unquenchable fire " (Matt. iii. 12). 

24. Doth the ploivman plow all day] Doth he do nothing 
but plough ? No ; he has other works also to perform beside 
ploughing. He has to open and to hari-ow the land. 

God not only ploughs, but harrows also ; He bestows all 
needful care on His field, the world. When He has ploughed, 
then He casts into it the fitches (or rather black fennel, 
"nigella," Gesen. 738), and scatters the cutnmin ; and sows the 
principal wheat (or rather, sotvs the wheat in rows, Vulg.), 
and barley in the appointed place, and spelt in the border 
( Vulg.) ; i. e. on the margin of the field, so as to be a fringe 
to it. 


Every several kind of grain is disposed in its proper place. 
This is the case also with God's moral and spiritual hus- 

Having spoken of ploughing, harrowing, and sowing, he 
next speaks of threshing, in which also eacli kind of grain is 
treated by a process adapted to its peculiar character, the ten- 
derer gi'ams being dealt with in a more gentle manner than 
those which are more hardy. 

28. Bread corn is bruised] The more robust kind of grain 
is bruised by the feet of the oxen or horses on the threshing- 
floor, and by the sharp-toothed threshing-machine, which they 
draw round the circular area on the hill. But the feebler 
produce is dealt with more mildly. And the work of thresh- 
ing is not perpetual ; it is followed by other processes, as 
S. Jerome (who wrote in Palestine) well expresses it, " Ipsum 
agricolam erudit Deus uaturaliter judicio suo, et docet quara 
cui sementi culturam adhibeat. Denique quiini metendi tempus 
advenerit, iufirmiora semina non rotis plaustrorum teruntur, 
qua) in serrarum similitudinem ferrese circumaguntur et tra- 
huntur super demessas frugcs, sed virga excutiuntur et baculo. 
Veruntamen non semper triticum rotis ferreis teritur. Sic Deus 
varie genus dispensat humanum ; nunc arat, nunc serit, nunc 
maturas fruges metit, et demessas in areis terit, orbemque suum 
gubernat ut voluerit. Ostendit in cunctis mirabile consilium 
suum et justitiseveritatem, ut qui plus acceperunt, plus exigatur 
ab illis." 

— Because he loill not ever] Rather, but he will not always 
be threshing it ( Vulg., Tar gum, Vitringa) ; and he wiU take 
care that it is not destroyed by the wheels of the sharp machine, 
or by the hoofs of his oxen and horses on the threshing-floor. 
So even the severest processes of divine threshing are guided by 
discretion and tempered with mercy. The Sept. paraphrases 
tlie words thus : " I will not be angry with you for ever, and 
the words of my bitterness shall not trample you in the dust." 

29. This also comefh^from the LoRD of hosts] If God takes 
care to instruct the husbandman how to deal intelligently and 
discriminately with the several kinds of grain in his earthly 
agriculture, all which are designed for the food of man, how 
much more will God Himself deal wisely with Mankind, specially 
with His own people, which are His peculiar Husbandry. 

IVoe to Jerusalem. 


Woe to her enemies. 


II Or, O Ariel 
that is, the Ihn 
of God. 

a Ezek. 43. 15, 

II Or, of the citu 
b 2 Sam. 5. 9. 
t Heb. cut off 
the heads. 

XXIX. > II Woe =* to Ariel, to Ariel, 

II The city ^ ivhere David dwelt ! 

Add ye year to year ; 

Let them f kill sacrifices. 
2 Yet I will distress Ariel, 

And there shall be heaviness and sorrow : 

And it shall be unto me as Ariel. 
^ And I will camp against thee round about, 

And will lay siege against thee with a mount, 

And I will raise forts against thee ; 
^ And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, 

And thy speech shall be low out of the dust, 

And thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, " out of the " "^^ «■ "'• 

And thy speech shall f whisper out of the dust. 

^ Moreover the multitude of thy "^ strangers shall be like small dust, 

And the multitude of the terrible ones shall be ^ as chaff that passeth away : 

Yea, it shall be '^at an instant suddenly. 
^ ^ Thou shalt be visited of the Lord of hosts 

With thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise. 

With storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire. 
"^ '' And the multitude of all the nations 

That fight against Ariel, 

Even all that fight against her and her munition, and that distress her. 

Shall be ' as a dream of a night vision ; 
^ "^ It shall even be 

As when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth ; 

t Heb. peep, or, 

d ch. 25. 5. 

e Job 21. 18. 
ch. 17. 13. 
f eh. 30. 13. 

g ch. 28. 2 S 
30. 30. 

h ch. 37. 30. 

i Job 20. 8. 

k Ps. 73. 28 

Woe to Jerusalem:. 

Ch. XXIX. 1. fFbe to Ariel] To Jerusalem, called Ariel ; 
1. e. (1) the lion of God (the lion being the emblem of Judah, 
Gen. slix. 9) ; and (2) the hearth of God (cp. Ezek. xliii. 15, 
16, where the word is applied to the altar of burnt-offering), 
as being the appointed place where all sacrifices were to be 
offered. Cp. xxxi. 9. See Targum here. Gesen. 79. 

— The city where David dioeW] Literally, where David 
pitched his tent, or encamped (Exod. xiii. 20. Num. i. 50), 
and which, therefore, enjoyed great spiritual blessings from 

— Add ye year to yeai — sacrifices] Add year to year ; 
let the feasts roll ronnd ; let the weekly, monthly, and annual 
festivals go their usual round year after year (see Vulg., Syriac; 
Vitringa, 139 j Gesen. 566). What profits all this celebration 
of annual religious festivals, if your heart is not right toward 
God ? See i. 11 — 14, " Bring no more vain oblations ; incense 
is an abomination unto Me ; the new moons and sabbaths, the 
calling of assemblies, I cannot away with ; it is iniquity, even 
the solemn meeting." 

2. as Ariel] As afire of God. See v. 1. 

3. I will camp against thee] David, the man after God's 
own heart, encamped in thee ; but, on account of thy sins, I 
will encamp against thee. He repeats the word chanah, to 
encamp, from v. 1. 

This prophecy was fulfilled when God sent the Chaldeans, 
who "built forts against Jerusalem round about" (2 Kings 
XXV. 1 — 3); and again, when He sent the Romans, who cast 
a trench about it, and compassed it round, and kept it in on 
every side, and laid it even with the ground. See on Luke 
xix. 43, 44 {S. Cyril, S. Jerome). 

This prophecy cannot be applied (as it is by some expo- 
sitors) to the siege of Jerusalem by Sennacherib ; for Isaiah 
himself distinctly declared the Divine promise : " Thus saith 
the Lord concerning the king of At^syria, He shall not come 

into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it 
with shield, nor cast a bank against it " (2 Kings xix. 32). 

4. a familiar spirit] See on viii. 19. 

Woe to the Enemies of Zioif. 

5. Moreover (rather, JBut) — thy strangers] Thy foes from a 
strange land, who will punish thee for thy strange gods. See 
on xxviii. 21. 

— shall be like small dust] Although they may camp 
against thee and humble thee ; yet they shall soon be scattered, 
and confounded, and swept away (cp. xvii. 13). This was ful- 
filled in the sudden destruction of Babylon itself, after it had 
destroyed Jerusalem (Sanchez, A Jjapide). 

This prophetic warning is added, in order that the enemies 
of God should not presume, that because they had afllicted Jeru- 
salem (as they were enabled by Him to do. Who used them as 
His own instruments) they had therefore conquered the Lord 
God of Israel ; or that they would escape with impunity. 

6. Thou shalt be visited] Rather, it shall be visited, or, 
there shall be a visitation of Zion's enemies {Sept., Vulg., 
Arabic, Delitzsch). God visited Babylon suddenly for her 
sins, and destroyed her as in a moment, in the hour of her 
pride and revelry. See above, xiii. 6 — 19. 

7. And the multitude of all the nations] In the Chaldean 
army. See above, on xxii. 6. 

— as a dream of a night vision] The glory of Babylon 
vanished in a moment; in the niglit of Belshazzar's impious 

8. It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth] Such 
was the evanescence of Babylon's glory. She fondly dreamt that 
she had destroyed Judah, and had swallowed up its power and 
religion in her voracious and impious maw, when she feasted in 
the night of that fatal banquet in which she drank wine sacri- 
legiously out of the holy vessels of Jehovah, and praised her 
gods of wood and stone. But all her revelry, blasphemy, and 

M 2 

Sudden fall of Zion's foes. ISAIAH XXIX. 9—14. IVarning to unbelieving Jeivs. 





II Or, take yaur 

pleasure, and 


1 See ch. 28. 7, S 

m ch. 51. 21. 

n Rom. 11. S. 

Ps. 69. 23. 
ch. 6. 10. 

1 Heb. heads: 
See ch. 3. 2. 
Jer. 26. 8. 

p 1 Sam. 9. 9. 

II Or, letter. 
q ch. 8. 16. 

rDan. 12. 4, 9. 
Rev. 5. 1-5, 9. 
fc 6. I . 


s Ezek. 33. 31. 
Matt. 15. 8, 9. 
Mark 7. 6, 7. 

t Col. 2. 22. 

u Hab. 1. 5. 

t Heb. 1 will add. 

But he awaketh, and bis soul is empty : 

Or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, be drinketh ; 

But he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and bis soul bath appetite : 

So shall the multitude of all the nations be, 

That fight against mount Zion. 

Stay yourselves, and wonder ; 

II Cry ye out, and cry : 

' They are drunken, "" but not with wine ; 

They stagger, but not with strong drink. 

For " the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, 

And hath " closed your eyes : 

The prophets and your f rulers, ^ the seers hath he covered ; 
^^ And the vision of all is become unto you 

As the words of a || book "^ that is sealed. 

Which men deliver to one that is learned, 

Saying, Bead this, I pray thee : 

■■ And he saith, I cannot, for it is sealed : 
^- And the book is delivered to him that is not learned. 

Saying, Bead this, I pray thee : 

And he saith, I am not learned. 
^^ Wherefore the Lord said, 

' Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, 

And with their lips do honour me. 

But have removed their heart far from me. 

And their fear toward me is taught by ' the precept of men : 
^^ " Therefore, behold, f I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this 

pride were only like a feverish dream, from which she awoke to 
be devoured by the sword of the Persian soldiery rushing into 
the royal palace, and slaughtering her nobles and her king. 

The same Monarch, Cyrus, who took Babylon, restored 

Such is the fate of those who " fight against Mount Zion." 
As the Psalmist says, " Let them all be confounded and turned 
hack that hate Zion ;" " Let them he as the grass upon the house- 
tops " (Ps. cxxix. 5, 6). Compare the prophecy in the Apoca- 
lypse on 'the sudden destruction of the enemies of God's Church 
(Rev. XX. 9). 

" So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord : but let them 
that love Him be as the sun when he goeth forth in liis might" 
(Judg. V. 31). 

Woe to the unbelieving Jews. 

9, 10. Stay yourselves] The Prophet now returns to the un- 
believing Jews, and says, Halt and wonder ; smear over your 
eyes and be blind. See Vitringa, 146 ; Fucrst, 1424; and De- 
litzsch here, as to this meaning of the vei'b shaa, to plaster 

We learn from St. Paul, that Isaiah is here describing the 
judicial blindness with which the Jews, especially their Rulers, 
were smitten, as a punishment for their hypocrisy, pride, and 
obstinacy, in the days of Christ and His Apostles. See Rom. 
xi. 7, 8 where St. Paul adopts the word Kativv^is from the 
Sept. here. Cp. Acts xxviii. 25—27. 

11. And the vision of all is become] Rather, and the vision, 
or revelation, of all ivill be to you like words of the book that 
is sealed ; that is, the prophecies of the Holy Scriptures, which 
ye Jews hold in your hands, and which ye hear with your ears, 
and which will be perfectly clear to the simple-minded, whom 
you suppose to be blind (see on v. 18), will be unintelligible to 
you, who imagine that you alone can see. Compare St. Paul's 
words concerning the blindness of the Jews : " They that dwell 
at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew Him not, 
nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every Sab- 

bath-day, they have fulfilled them in condemning Him " (Acts 
xiii. 27). " Their minds were blinded ; for untU this day ro- 
maineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the Old 
Testament. When Moses is read, the veil is on their hearts " 
(2 Cor. iii. 14, 15). The Old Testament is to the Jews a sealed 
Book, but Christ will unseal it to them (2 Cor. v. 14 — 18) ; 
and see S. Hippolytus on Daniel, p. 159 (ed. Lagarde), and 
S. Jerome here. 

13. Forasmuch as this people] Our Lord Himself has taught 
us to interpret this prophecy ; see Matt. xv. 7. Mark vii. 6, 
where He says to the Jews, especially to the Pharisees of His 
own age, " Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, say- 
ing. This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth." 
Many of the words of the Septuagint here are adopted by both 
Evangelists ; cp. S. Justin Martyr, who often refers to this text 
in his dialogue with Trypho the Jew, and applies it to the 
Jews of his time. See S. Justin M., Dialog., §§ 90. 128. 276. 

— And their fear toward me is taught by the precept of 
men] Rather, their fear of me is a commandment learned of 
men. Their religion is not a pure and holy .system of heavenly 
truth, which I have prescribed in My Woed ; but it is some- 
thing else which men have invented, and which supplants that 
Word. Our Blessed Lord has expounded Isaiah's words in 
Matt. XV. 7, and see Bp. Sanderson's Sermon on that text in 
vol. ii. pp. 141 — 168, where he thus applies it to the sins of the 
Church of Rome in later days ; " That they are the children 
and successors of the Pharisees, no man that rightly under- 
standeth the tenets of the Romish Church but will easily grant, 
if he shall consider what a mass of human traditions, both in 
point of belief and worship, are imposed upon the judgments 
and consciences of all that may be sufiered to live in the visible 
communion of that Church " (p. 151). 

Tliere is no reason for an alteration in the Hebrew te.xt 
(by reading tohu for tehi) to make it coincide with the Sept., 
which is a paraphrase of it. 

14. Therefore — -perish] Cp. Hab. i. 5. 

Tlie call of the Gentiles. 

ISAIAH XXIX. 15—23. 

Unhelieving Jews rejected. 





19 a 

X Jer. 49. 7. 
Obad. 8. 
1 Cor. 1.19. 
y ch. 30. 1. 

Even a marvellous work and a wonder : 

" For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, 

And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. 

y Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, 
And their works are in the dark, 
' And they say, Who seeth us ? and who knoweth us ? 
Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's 

For shall the ^ work say of him that made it. He made me not ? 
Or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding ? 

Is it not yet a very little while. 
And ^ Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field. 
And the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest ? 

And "" in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, 
And the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. 
The meek also f shall increase their joy in the Lord, 
And ^ the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 
^*^ For the terrible one is brought to nought, and '^the scorner is consumed. 

And all that ^ watch for iniquity are cut off : 
"' That make a man an offender for a word. 

And ^ lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate. 
And turn aside the just ' for a thing of nought. 
" Therefore thus saith the Lord, "who redeemed Abraham, concerning the t Josh. 24. 3 
house of Jacob, 
Jacob shall not now be ashamed, 
Neither shall his face now wax pale ; 
^^ But when he seeth his children, ' the work of mine hands, in the midst of 

z Ps.9(. 7. 

a ch. 45. 9. 
Rom. 9. 20. 

bch. 32. 15. 

dch. 61. 1. 

t Heb. shall add, 

e James 2. 5. 

f ch. 28. 14, 22. 

g Micah 2. 1. 

h Amos 5. 10, 12. 
i Prov. 28. 21. 

1 ch. 19. 25. & 
45. 11. & 60. 21. 
Eph. 2. 10. 

— tvise — and prudent~\ The Sept. has cro^uv Koi avviTuiv 
here ; the words used by our Lord in Luke x. 21, when He is 
speaking of those among the Jews who boasted of their own 
wisdom and prudence, and who were punished with spiritual 
blindness for their pride and vainglory. 

16. your turning of tilings upside down~\ Your preposterous 
perversion of things, — as if ye were wiser than God ! 

The Call of the Gentiles, and Woe to Unbelieving 

17. Lebanon—fruitful field~\ Lebanon is the figure of the 
Gentile world (see above, on Cant. iii. 9 ; iv. 8), and the fruitful 
field is the symbol of the Jeivish nation. The prophet says that 
Gentile Lebanons shall become fruitful Carmels, and the Jewish 
Cannel shall become a Lebanon. Cp. below, xxxii. 15, and our 
Lord's words to the Jews, Matt. xxi. 43; S. Jerome here, 
S. Cyril, and Theodoret. 

18. the ivords of the book'] They who before were deaf, 
the meek and teachable of the Gentiles shall listen to those 
words with joy. Cp. Acts xvii. 11 ; the joy with which the 
Gentiles welcomed the word of the Gospel, which the Jews put 
from them, is displayed in Acts xi. 18 ; xxviii. 28. 

The words of the Book are the words of the Bible, the 
Holy Sceiptuhes — not oral traditions, such as those by which 
the Pharisees made the Word of God to be of none effect. See 
on V. 13. 

— the eyes of the blind shall see] Observe the contrast. 
The punishment of the Jews, as revealed in v. 10, is, that they 
are blinded for their pride; but the eyes of the meek are 
opened. As our Lord declared ; " For judgment I am come into 
this world, that they which see not, might see, and that they 
which see, might be made blind " (John ix. 39) ; observe what 
follows here, " The meek shall increase their joy in the Lord, 
and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of 


Israel ;" cp. Ixi. 1, the words applied by Christ to Himself, 
" The Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings (the 
Gospel) unto the meek ;" and Matt. v. 3. 5, " Blessed are the 
meek." " Blessed are the poor in spirit." Cp. Matt. xi. 29. 

20, 21. For the terrible one] The Herods of this world, who 
persecute God's people, will be destroyed ; the scorners who 
>««cked the Lord of Life and His Apostles (Matt, xxvii. 29. 
Acts ii. 13), will be consumed. See above, xxviii. 14, from 
which verse the word scorner is repeated here. Such enemies 
of God as the Chief Priests who watched in the night-time in 
the hall of Caiaphas to perpetrate the iniquity of the morrow 
(Matt. xxvi. 3 ; xxvii. 1), will be cut off. 

21. That make a man an offender for a word] For a word, 
not a deed ; and for a word which they wrest from its right 
meaning, such as the words of our Lord, " Destroy this temple," 
Matt, xxvii. 40 ; and such as the words of St. Stephen, Acts vi. 
13, 14. 

— lay a snare — gate] See Amos v. 10. 

— turn aside the just for a thing of nought] Or, by vanity, 
Heb. tohu, lix. 4, by falsehood {Targum). 

22, 23.] These verses were appointed to be read in the 
Hebrew Church as a Saphtarah to Exod. i.— vi. See on 
xxvii. 6. 

23. tvhen he seeth his children] When Jacob seeth his 
children, the faithful of all Nations, the work of Mine hands ; 
the work of the hands of Him Who is able to raise up children 
unto Abraham from the stones of the wilderness of Heathenism 
(Matt. iii. 9. Luke iii. 8) ; they are His workmanship (Eph. 
ii. 10), — then Jacob the father and his children will rejoice 
together. Cp. Acts xi. 18 ; x. 45, where it is related that 
the Jews themselves, who were with St. Peter, glorified God 
because He had granted repentance unto life to the Gentiles, on 
whom He poured out thef gift of the Holy Ghost, Acts x. 44, 
45. All the Apostles of Christ were Jews ; and this prophecy 
was fulfilled in part when they were made the preachers of the 

[Voe to those who trust ISAIAH XXIX. 24. XXX. 1—6. in Egypt— not in God. 





They shall sanctify my name, 

And sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, 

And shall fear the God of Israel. 

m ch. 28. 7 24 Xhey also "' that erred in spirit f shall come to iinderstandinf?, 

i Heh. shall know J J- ' ^ 

understandiny. ^j^^ 1^^^ iQ^^\^ murmurcd sliall learn doctrine. 


acli. 29. 15. 

b Deut. 29. 19. 
c ch. 31. 1. 

d Num. 27.21. 
Josh. 9. 14. 
1 Kings 22. 7. 
Jer. 21. 2. & 
42. 2,20. 

e ch. 20. 5. 
Jer. 37. 5, 7. 

f ch. 19. 11. 

g Jer. 2. 36. 

h cli. 57. 9. 
Hos. 8. 9. & 12. 1 

XXX. ' Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, 
^ That take counsel, but not of me ; 
And that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, 
^ That they may add sin to sin : 

2 ^ That walk to go down into Egypt, 
And ^ have not asked at my mouth ; 

To strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, 
And to trust in the shadow of Egypt ! 

3 ^ Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame. 
And the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion. 

^ For his princes were at "^Zoan, 

And his ambassadors came to Hanes. 
^^ They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them. 

Nor be an help nor profit. 

But a shame, and also a reproach. 
^ '' The burden of the beasts of the south : 

Gospel to the Gentile world {S. Jerome). Cp. Acts vi. 7, where 
it la related that " a great company of the priests were obedient 
to the faith ;" and Acts xxi. 20, " many thousands of Jews there 
are which believe." 


24. They also that erred in spirit^ The unbelieving Jews 
themselves shall turn to God " when the fulness of the Gentiles 
is come in" (Rom. xi. 26. See Hosea xiv. 1 — 9. Zech. xii. 10). 

— they that murmured^ The Jews, who murmured at the 
extension of God's favour to the Gentiles (see Matt. xx. 11. 
Luke V. 30, where the Evangelist uses the same word as the 
Sept. here), shall learn doctrine, the doctrine of Christ, the 
Seed of Abraham, in Whom all nations are blessed ; and they 
will embrace the Gentiles as their own brethren and fellow- 
members in Him {S. Cyril, Aquinas, Sanchez, A Lapide). 

Woe to those who trust in Men, and not in God. 

Ch. XXX.] The Prophet, as his custom is, having delivered 
a prophecy concerning the last days, — the times of the Messiah, 
— follows it up with a prophetical warning relative to his own 
days, in order that by the fulfilment of the prophecy concern- 
ing his own times, he may obtain belief for the prophecies 
which reach onward to the end of time. 

He here condemns the people of God for their lack of 
trust in Him, and for relying on earthly powers, making 
flesh their arm (Jer. xvii. 5), especially the power of Egypt, 
the ancient enemy of God's Church. He foretells the abortive 
and ignominious result of such a resort to Egypt, and predicts 
also the fall of the power of Assyria, even though it would 
conquer Egypt ; and declares that this destruction would be 
wrought by the power of the Lord God of Israel, Whom they 
had forsaken for Egypt. 

This prophecy was delivered in the days of Hezekiah, and 
was partly fulfilled in his days in the kingdom of Israel, which 
appealed to Egypt for help in the reign of its last king, 
Hoshea the son of Elah (see 2 Kings xvii. 1) ; and also in the 
kingdom of Judah, as we have seen already (on chapters 
xviii. — XX.) ; and received an additional fulfilment in the latter 
days of Jerusalem, when it was besieged by the Chaldaeaus, and 
resorted for succour to Egypt. See Jer. xxxvii. 5 — 7. 

1. that cover with a covering'} Rather, that tveave a covering 
(Heb. massecah) ; and it may also mean that make a league (lite- 
rally, pour it out, leagues being made by libations; Gr. crTreVSeii' 
(rfl-oVs?^) ; and it is probably on account of this double meaning 

of the words that they are here used by Isaiah to designate the 
league which Judah made with Egypt, so as to be woven into a 
veil or protection to them from their enemies. On this twofold 
meaning, see Fuerst, 836. 935 ; and Gesen. 489. 553. 

This double meaning was made more expressive by the 
fact that the word here used (massecah) signifies a molten 
image (e. g. the molten calf, Exod. xxxii. 4), and is used in 
that sense in the present chapter, v. 22. See also xlii. 17. 

Thus we recognize the striking contrast between the 
human help which Judah soiight, and the Divine Protector, 
Whom it forsook. They left the shadow of the wings of the 
Living God at Jerusalem to seek for protection from an idol 
of their own making, which could not defend them, but would 
bring shame and confusion on its own worshippers. 

— not of my spirit} The vail (Heb. masac) of the Taber- 
nacle ; and the covering (masac) of the Cloud which I pro- 
vided for Israel in the wilderness, were " coverings of My 
Spirit," which is outraged, and is deserted for the help of 
idolatrous Egypt, from which I delivered them, and led them 
through the wilderness ; and yet they now go back to trust in 
its shadow instead of in Mine ! 

3. Therefore — the trust in the shadoto of Egypt your con- 
fusion} See above, on xx. 5 ; they shall be ashamed of Egypt, 

their glory; and compare what has been said on this sub- 
ject on chap, xviii. 1, where there is a striking representa- 
tion of the vanity of looking for help from the flapping wings 
of Ethiopia, which only made a noise, but could not afibrd 
any shelter or protection, instead of trusting in the shadow of 
tlie Wings of the Most High. 

4. his princes'] Judah's princes forsake Me, and go down to 
Egypt to solicit her help. I see them at Zoan (Tanis), on the 
north-east frontier of Egypt (see on xix. 11), where I wrought 
wonders, and brought plagues on Egypt when I delivered 
My people (see Ps. Ixxviii. 12. 43); and I see them still 
farther south at Hanes, or, as sometimes called, Taphnes 
(Targum here), probably Heracleotis, the Anysis of Herodotus, 
(ii. 137), in central Egypt {Vitringa, Michaelis, Rosen., 
Gesen., Delifzsch), south of Noph (Memphis). 

6. The burden of the leasts of the south} That is, the pro- 
phetic oracle concerning Egypt, the great Soutliern Enemy 
of God, called here the beasts (Heb. bahamoth), for the same 
reason as the Enemy of God is named behemoth in Job xl. 15, 
where see the note. The word here used, bahamoth, is the 
consti'uct form of behemoth, used there. Egypt, as God's 
enemy, is symbolized in Scripture by various figures indicating 
huge carnal bulk, and physical strength, such as the Hippo- 

Vanity of all things 

ISAIAH XXX. 7—14. 

that set aside God's Word. 

7 k 

Into the land of trouble and anguish, 
From whence come the young and old lion, 
' The viper and fiery flying serpent, 

They will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, 
And their treasures upon the bunches of camels, 
To a people that shall not profit them. 
For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose : 
Therefore have I cried || concerning this, 
' Their strength is to sit still. 





i Deut. 8. 15. 

k Jer. 37. 7. 
I Or, to her. 

] ver. 15. 
ch. 7. 4. 

^ Now go, "" write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, 

That it may be for f the time to come for ever and ever : 
^ That " this is a rebellious people, lying children. 

Children that will not hear the law of the Lord : 
10 ""\Yi2ich say to the seers. See not ; 

And to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, 

'' Speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits : 
^^ Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, 

Cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. 
^'^ Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, 

Because ye despise this word. 

And trust in || oppression and perverseness, 

And stay thereon : 
^'^ Therefore this iniquity shall be to yon '^ as a breach ready to fall. 

Swelling out in a high wall. 

Whose breaking ' cometh suddenly at an instant. 
^^ And ' he shall break it as the breaking of f the potters' vessel 

That is broken in pieces ; 

He shall not spare : 

So that there shall not be found in the bursting of it 

A sherd to take fire from the hearth, 

m Hab. 2. 2. 

t Heb. the latter 


n Deut. 32. 20. 

ch. 1.4. 

ver. 1. 

o Jer. II. 21. 
Amos 2. 12. 
& 7. 13. 
Micah 2. 6. 
p 1 Kings 22. 13. 
Micah 2. 11. 

Or, fraud. 

q Ps. G2. 3. 

r ch. 29. 5. 

s Ps. 2. 9. 
Jer. 19. 11. 
t Heb. the buttle 
of potters. 

potamus, and malignant violence, such as the Dragon and other 
aquatic animals, especially the Crocodile. See above, on xxviii. 1 ; 
and on Ps. Ixviii. 30, where the power of Egypt is called " the 
beasts of the reed;" and below, on li. 9. Ezek. xxix. 3, 4. 

— Into the land — to a people that shall not profit~\ The 
ambassadors of Judah in their journey toward Egypt for help, 
are going into a land of trouble and anguish, viz. that self- 
same wilderness, " that great and terrible wilderness wherein 
were fiery serpents and scorpions " (Deut. viii. 15), through 
which God led them out of Egypt into Canaan. They are 
forsaking the city of God Himself, and His Temple, and are 
deserting the land of promise into which God brought their 
fathers by Joshua, and are passing through that wilderness 
with gifts and treasures (perhaps taken from God's own house, 
see 2 Kings xviii. 15, 16), in order to purchase the protection 
of Egypt (whence God brought them out by Moses), — a people 
that will not profit them, but be trodden under foot by Assyria, 
and afterwards by Babylon. Ezek. xxx. to xxxii. 11. 

On the overthrow of the power of Egypt by Assyria, see 
above, on xx. 2 — 6; and the Assyrian Inscriptions, pp. 23. 
36. 44. 

7. Therefore have I cried concerning this— stilly Rather, 
therefore have I named this (i. e. Egypt) Their pride and 
boasting is mere laziness (Heb. sheheth, cessation from work ; 
Exod. xxi. 19. Oesen. 804). Their passionate impetuosity 
and boastful vehemence will all end in inaction. They talk 
loudly, and brag much, but they will do nothing. Cp. Sept., 
Syriac, Arab., be Dieu, Cocceius, Vitringa, and Delitzsch. 

The word here rendered pride, is Rahab, which has a 
double meaning, — 

(1) Pride (so Vulg. here), vainglorious boasting, bustle, 
and swaggering. See on Job ix. 13 ; xxvi. 12. 

(2) It is a name for Egypt, on account of its pride. See 
Ps. Ixxxvii. 4. "Rahab and Babylon," the cities of Pride 
and Confusion. Cp. Ps. Ixxxix. 10 : " Thou hast broken Rahab 
in pieces ;" and below, li. 9 : " That hath cut Rahab." 

We may apply here what has been said in the note on 
xviii. 1 concerning Ethiopia, to which, as well as to Egypt, 
Judah had looked for help, but in vain; see xx. 3 — 6. Ethiopia's 
armies are compared to a whirring of wings, which made a great 
noise, but afforded no shelter. So all Egypt's loud promises 
of help ended in emptiness. Such is the World's help to God's 

8. Now go, write if] Write toith them (i. e. openly) the 
prophecy just delivered, and that which follows, on a table 
(a pohshed table of stone or metal, Exod. xxxi. 18. Deut.ix. 9. 
Gesen. 437), so that it may be public and durable. 

Here was a challenge from the prophet. If the prophecy 
was not fulfilled, Isaiah's mission would have been at an end, 
and he would have been put to death as a false prophet. See 
Deut. xviii. 20. 22. The fulfilment proved his truth. 

9. That this is a rebellious people] Or, Because this is a 
rebellious people. 

13. Swelling out inahightoaW] Cp. Ezek. xlii. 13. Ps.lxii.3: 
"Ye shall be slain all of you as a bowing wall, a tottering fence." 

14. he shall break it as the breaking of the potters' vesseV] 
The Word itself (r. 12), here personified as the Eternal Word 
(as in Heb. iv. 12, 13, see note there), will break the high 
wall of your pride and impiety, as easily as a potter's vessel, 
as the Psalmist says of Christ (Ps. ii. 9). 

TJw great blessedness 

ISAIAH XXX. 15—20. 

of trusting in God, 





Or to take water untlial out of the pit. 


t ver. 7. 
ch. 7. 4. 

u Matt. 23 37. 

X Lev. 26. 8. 
Dcut. 28. 23. 
& 32. 30. 
Josh. 23. 10. 

n Or, a tree 
bereft of branches, 
or, botiglis: or, 
a must. 

y Ps. 2. 12. & 

Prov. 16. 20. 
Jer. 17. 7. 

z ch. 65. 9. 

a 1 Kings 22. 27. 
Ps. 127.2. 

II Or, oppression. 

For thus saith the Lord God, 

The Holy One of Israel ; 

*■ In returning and rest shall ye be saved ; 

In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength : 

" And ye would not ; 
^^ But ye said, No ; for we will flee upon horses j 

Therefore shall ye flee : 

And, We will ride upon the swift ; 

Therefore shall they that pursue you be swift. 
^7 ^ One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one ; 

At the rebuke of five shall ye flee : 

Till ye be left as || a beacon upon the top of a mountain, 

And as an ensign on an hill. 

And therefore will the Lord wait, 
That he may be gracious unto you, 
And therefore will he be exalted, 
That he may have mercy upon you : 
For the Lord is a God of judgment : 
^Blessed are all they that wait for him. 



For the people ^ shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem : 
Thou shalt weep no more : 

He will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry ; 
When he shall hear it, he will answer thee. 
^^ And though the Lord give you ^ the bread of adversity, and the water of 
11 affliction. 

16. we tvill flee upon horses ; therefore shall ye flee'] We 
will hasten on horses. The Jews are represented as saying, 
" We will not be content with our infantry, but we will haste 
on cavalry to the battle, and to the spoil; and if we are 
vanquished, we shall easily escape from them by our speed ;" 
" therefore," rejoins the prophet, "ye shall be made to haste." 
Cp. xxxi. 1 ; and Qesen. 540. 

The contrast to this is in the language of penitent Israel, 
in Hosea xiv. 3: "Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride 
upon horses, neither will we say any more to the work of our 
hands. Ye are our gods; fur in Thee the fatherless find 

— We will ride upon the swiff] Upon a racehorse (Gesen. 

17. One thousand — at the rebuke of one] So that the 
Divine promise to you (Deut. xxxii. 30) will be reversed, and 
be turned into a curse by your disobedience. 

— as a beacon] Solitary, like a flag-staff; literally, a mast 
(Sept., Vulg., Gesen.). 

Gracious Promises to those who do not rely on men, 
but trust in god. 

18. And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be 
gracious] The Prophet beholds the People turning to God with 
penitential cries and tears, and he announces to them the blessed 
consequence of their repentance. 

This was exemplified in a remarkable manner in the 
person of Hezekiah, the King of Judah (and doubtless in the 
persons of many of his nobles and people), who at first had 
shown a great lack of trust in God (see 2 Kings xviii. 14. 16), 
and resorted to Egypt and Ethiopia for help (see above, on 
chapters xviii. — xx. ; and 2 Kings xviii. 21), but afterwards 
turned to God, in his double distress, with prayers, and cries, 
and tears (2 Kings xis. 15 — 19 ; xx. 3—5 ; and above, xxv. 8; 
i,nd below, xxxviii. 14 — 17). 

The words (which are here spoken by the Prophet) were 
fully verified in Hezekiah : " Thou shalt weep no more : the 
Lord will be very gracious unto thee; at the voice of thy 
cry, when He shall hear it. He will answer thee." The 
speed of the answer to Hezekiah's prayers is noticed in 
2 Kings XX. 4. 

But this promise has a still larger fulfilment in the Church 
of God. See xxv. 8 ; xxxv. 10. 

This expression, " and therefore," is full of pathos. It is 
like the running of the Father, in our Lord's parable, to embrace 
the returning prodigal on the first movement of his repentance, 
even when he was a " long way off" (Luke xv. 20). 

— tcill he be exalted] In the glorious manifestation of His 
power, the sudden destruction of the Assyrian army (vv. 30, 31), 
for your deliverance. Cp. Ps. .xlvi. 10, — a Psalm written pro- 
bably on that occasion, where the same verb is used, and where 
the sentiment is similar to the present. See also Ps. Ixxvi. 
1 — 12, another Psalm written at that time. 

— Blessed are all they that wait for him^ If God waits, we 
must wait for Him. Hezekiah's patient waiting was exercised 
for more than two years (see xxxvii. 30) before the promise of 
God was fulfilled, that the Assyrian army should be destroyed, 
and he and his city be delivered. The Ijord waits, that He 
may be gracious. Blessed are all they that wait for Him ! On 
this text, see Abp. Leighton's Serm. xxv. ii. 240. " We are 
irregular in our afl'ections and notions, and the only right 
ordering them is by reducing them to conformity to the thoughts 
of God. The way to rectify our thoughts is to set them by 
His, as clocks and watches are ordered by the sun." 

19. the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem] Judah 
shall not be uprooted by Assyria from Jerusalem, as Israel was 
uprooted by that power from Samaria. 

This promise is fulfilled in the Church. See Ix. 20; Ixv. 19. 

— thou shalt weep no more — an^icer thee] Sec on v. 18. 

20. though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and 

Blessings for penitent Z ion, ISAIAH XXX. 21—26. 

consummated in Christ. 



Yet shall not '' thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, 

But thine eyes shall see thy teachers : 

And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, 

This is the way, walk ye in it, 

When ye *"turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. 

•^ Ye shall defile also the covering of f thy graven images of silver, 
And the ornament of thy molten images of gold : 
Thou slialt f cast them away as a menstruous cloth ; 
"" Thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence. 

^ Then shall he give the rain of thy seed. 
That thou slialt sow the ground withal ; 
And bread of the increase of the earth, 
And it shall be fat and plenteous. 

In that day shall thy cattle feed in large pastures. 
The oxen likewise and the young asses that ear the ground 
Shall eat ||f clean provender. 

Which hath been winnowed with the shovel and with the fan : 
And there shall be ^ upon every high mountain, and upon every f high hill. 
Rivers and streams of waters, 
In the day of the great slaughter, 
When the towers fall. 

Moreover '' the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, 
And the light of the sun shall be sevenfold. 
As the light of seven days, 

In the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people, 
And healeth the stroke of their wound. 





li F's. 74. 9. 

Amos 8. II. 

c Josh. 1. 7. 

d2 Chron. 31. 1. 
ch. 2. 20. & 31 7. 
t Heb llie 
yraven images of 
thy silver. 
f Heb. scatter. 

eHos. 14. 8. 

f Matt. 6. 33. 
1 Tim. 4.8. 

II Or, savoury, 
i Heb. leavened. 

pch. 2. 14, 15. & 

-14. 3. 

t Heb. lifted up. 

h c:li. 60. 19, 20. 

the water of qfflictioti] As Isaiah prophesied to Hezekiah, 
that God would do at Babylon. See xxxi.x. 6 ; and cp. the 
words of Ezra, in Neh. ix. 32. 36, 37, where there seems to be 
a reference to this phrase of Isaiah. 

— yet shall not thy teachers he removed into a corner~\ 
God gave to Judah prophets at Babylon, Daniel and Ezekiel, 
and, after their return, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi ; aud 
then the Canon of Scripture was sealed; and the Scriptures 
were read in their Synagogues till the Coming of Christ, the Lord 
of the prophets. Who is ever speaking to the Jews, and to the 
World, in the Two Testaments, which are His Word. 

22. the covering — the ornamenf] Instead of seeking any 
longer to " cover loith a covering not of My spirit " {y. 1), 
ye will defile the covering or veil by which your idolatrous 
images were shrouded from the eye in their secret shrines (see 
Deut. xxvii. 15), and ye shall defile and cast away their 
ornament, or rather ephod ; see Exod. xxviii. 8 ; xxxix. 5, where 
the same word is used to describe the priestly ephod, or " super- 
humerale," on which see Exod. xxv. 7; xxviii. 4. Cp. Judg. 
viii. 27 ; xvii. 5, which two latter passages refer to an idol. 

Some Expositors suppose that the Prophet is here speaking 
of metal plates of gold or silver with which the idols were 
covered ; but as these two objects (the covering, and the orna- 
ment, or ephod) are compared to a cloth which is defiled and 
cast away, the interpretation given above seems preferable. 

After the rejection of your idols, ye shall receive blessings 
from God, temporal and spiritual. See what follows. 

23. he shall give the rain of thy seed'] God shall give the rain 
needful for its growth ; and He shall give thee rich harvests, 
and abundance of cattle in large pastures. 

For the spiritual meaning of this and the following verses, 
see on v. 26. 

24. clean provender'] Bather, provender salted (chamits : 
Oesen. 287), mashed together (Heb, lelil : see on Job xxiv. 6), 
BO as to be more nutritious and palatable. See Targum for 
the spiritual interpretation of this. 

25. Rivers aud streams of waters] Not in the valleys odIv, 
but on the hills. Here is a proof that this prophecy is not 

Vol. V. Part I.— 89 

to be interpreted merely in a literal sense, but has also a 
spiritual meaning. Cp. above, on ii. 2. 

— In the day of the great slaughter, tvhen the towers fall] 
Such as those of Babylon, by the fall of which Israel was 
delivered. But this prophecy has also an Evangelical meaning. 
See what follows. 

26. As the light of seven days] Concentrated in one. 

Reteospect op this Peophecx (vv. 20—26). 
Its Spieittjal Sense. 

This prophecy began to be fulfilled on the return of Israel 
from Babylon, when they put away their idols (v. 22). 

Its larger fulfilment was in the coming of Cheist. Then 
the Lord had waited for many generations to be gracious; and 
blessed were all they who waited for Him (v. 18). Blessed were 
they, who, like Simeon, and Anna, and many others, " waited 
for the consolation of Israel " (Luke ii. 25. 38. Cp. above, 
xxv. 9). Then the people saw their Teachee, and He 
established a Visible Church, wherein His Word is preached, 
and His Sacraments are administered in the whole woi'ld. 

Then the Word went forth, saying, " This is the way : 
walk ye in it." The Gospel is specially called " the Way " in 
Holy Scripture (see on Acts ix. 2 ; xix. 9 ; xxiv. 22) ; and the 
preaching of it led men to " defile the covering of their graven 
images, and to cast them away from them." See Tlieodoret. 

It extends to the times of the Messiah, and even to His 
Second Advent, aud is so expounded by the ancient interpre- 
ters, as 6'. Jerome, S. Cyril, Haymo, Procopius, and others j 
and the Church of England has therefore appointed it to be 
read in the season of Advent. 

At the Day of Pentecost He poured out the living waters 
of His Spirit upon all flesh ; see Joel ii. 28, as interpreted by 
St. Peter on the Day of Pentecost; and cp. Isaiah's words, 
prophetic of that outpouring, in xxxii. 15. 20 ; xxxv. 6 ; xli, 18; 
xliv. 3, and our Blessed Lord's language, which confirms this 
exposition (John vii. 38, 39). 

This effusion of the Spirit might well be called the rain of 
thy seed (v. 23. Cp. Zech. x. 1 ; xiv. 8), — the seed of the Word 
sown by thee, according to our Lord's similitude, in the parable 


The future Judgment. 

ISAIAH XXX. 27—32. 

Joij of the righteous. 





II Or, and the 

grievousness of 


t Heb. heaviness. 

ich. 11. 4. 
2 Thess. 2. 8. 
k ch. 8. 8. 

1 ch. 37. 29. 

in Ps. 42. 4. 

n ch. 2. 3. 

t Heb. Rock, 
Deut. 32. 4. 
o ch. 29. 6. 
t Heb. Ihe glory 
of his voice. 

J) ch. 28. 2. & 

32. 19. 

q ch. 37. 36. 

rch. 10. 5, 24. 

\ Heb. every 
passing of the 
rod founded. 
+ Heb. cause to 
rest upon him. 


2^ Behold, the name of the Lord cometh from far, 

Bm'ning loith his anger, 

II And the burden thereof is f heavy : 

His hps are full of indignation. 

And his tongue as a devouring fire : 
-^ And ' his breath, as an overflowing stream, 

" Shall reach to the midst of the neck, 

To sift the nations with the sieve of vanity : 

And there shall he ' a bridle in the jaw^s of the people, causing them to err. 
Ye shall have a song. 

As in the night "" when a holy solemnity is kept ; 

And gladness of heart. 

As when one goeth mth. a pipe to come into " the mountain of the Lord, 

To the f mighty One of Israel. 
"And the Lord shall cause f his glorious voice to be heard. 

And shall shew the lighting down of his arm. 

With the indignation of his anger, 

And with the flame of a devouring fire. 

With scattering, and tempest, ^ and hailstones. 
'•'•^ For "J through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down, 

' Which smote wdtli a rod. 
^■- And f in every place w^iere the grounded staff shall pass, 

Which the Lord shall f lay upon him. 


of the Sower (Luke viii. 11. Cp. above, xxviii. 24) ; and St. 
Paul himself has taught us to see in the oxen (v. 24) a symbol 
of the labourers in God's husbandry, 1 Cor. ix. 9 ; 1 Tim. v. 18 ; 
see notes there ; and on Deut. xxv. 4 ; and below, on xxxii. 20 ; 
and S. Jerome and 5'. Ci/i-il here. 

The clean provender, or the saUed fodder well toinnowed, 
represents the sound, wholesome, and pure doctrine, " seasoned 
with salt" (Col. iv. 6. Cp. Mark ix. 50), purged from all adultera- 
tions of God's Word, on which they feed, that they may have 
strength to labour in His husbandry. Cp. Vitringa, p. 184. 

By the preaching of the Gospel, the toioers fall {v. 25), 
the strongholds of Satan are cast down, and " every thing 
that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God " (see 2 Cor. 
X. 4, 5) ; as the walls of Jericho fell at the sound of the 
trumpets, blown by the Priests, marching before the Ark of 
God. See above. Prelim. Note to Joshua vi. And by the 
preaching of the Gospel, a glorious light is diffused throughout 
the world by Christ, " the Sun of Righteousness," — a light 
far more glorious than has ever yet beamed upon the earth 
(cp. 2 Cor. iv. 6. 1 Pet. ii. 9 ; v. 26) ; and this begins to be 
done in the day when Christ, as He Himself declares, binds up 
the breach of His people, and healeth the stroke of their wound. 
See Luke iv. 17,18, compared with what Isaiah says concerning 
Him in l.xi. 1. 

Doubtless the full accomplishment of this glorious prophecy 
concerning the "sevenfold light" of the sun as " the light of 
seven days " is reserved for the Church triumphant, as de- 
scribed in the Apocalypse, Rev. xxi. 4. 23 ; xxii. 5 ; and see 
below, Ix. 19, 20 : " The Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting 
light, and thy God thy glory." But it is usual for the Evangelical 
prophet to pass from the graces of the first Advent to the 
glories of the second. The latter are the consummation of the 
former ; and they are seen in one glance by the eye of pro- 
phecy. See below, Ixv. 17 — 23. As all the woes of Babylon 
are concentrated by Him in one night, — the night of Bel- 
shazzar's impious revelry, — because that was the crisis of her 
sin and misery, although she lingered on for some centuries 
after it, so the blessings of Sion are concentrated by Him in 
One Day, — the Day of Christ's Coming, — because all her glories 
in Time and in Eternity flow from it. 

Vision of Judgment. 

27. the name of the Lord] See Rev. xix. 16, describing the 

Victory of Christ : " He hath on His vesture and on His thigh 
a Name written. King of kings, and Lord of lords." 

28. reach to the midst of the neck'\ See viii. 8. 

— the sieve of vanity'] A fan of destruction {Gesen. 807), — 
words explained by the Baptist, speaking of Christ's Second 
Advent (Matt. iii. 12). 

— a bridle — causing to err] See below, xxxvii. 29, where 
God describes Himself as putting a bridle into the mouth of 
Sennacherib, and turning him back to his own land. Since 
the wicked will not be guided by God's Law for their good, 
therefore God (the uncontrollable God, Who governs all, even 
the most unruly) will put His bridle into their jaws, and turn 
them backward to their own destruction, as He did Pharaoh 
and Sennacherib. 

Jot of the RiaHTEOUS. 

29. Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy 
solemnity is kept] As in the Feast of Tabernacles, which was 
the foreshadowing of heavenly joy. See above, on Neh. viii. 
14; and below, Zech. xiv. 16; and Rev. vii. 15; xxi. 3. 

31. For through the voice of the LoED shall the Assyrian 
be beaten down] Here is the proximate proof of the fulfilment 
of the prophecies just delivered, which extend from Isaiah's 
time, and from before the fourteenth year of Hezekiah, to the 
Coming of Christ, and to the Day of Doom. 

Sennacherib, the conqueror of Egypt and Ethiopia, shall 
be suddenly overthrown, and his army be destroyed by the 
voice of the Lord, in the zenith of his pride and power, and 
Hezekiah and Jerusalem shall be rescued from their grasp 
(xxxvii. 36). 

So shall all God's enemies perish ; so shall all His faithful 
people be deUvered. 

— Which smote with a rod] See x. 5. 24 : " He shall smite 
thee with a rod" (xiv. 5). 

32. the grounded staff] Literally, ihe staff of {God's) ap- 
pointment {Gesen. 457), namely, the Assyrian power, which 
imagined itself to be omnipotent, and to be achieving its own 
aggrandizement; but it was a staff of appointment : it was 
the " rod of God's anger, and the staff" of His indignation " 
(see X. 5. 15) for effecting His purposes ; and when His work was 
wrought by its means, then it was broken, because it magnified 
itself against Him, Who had appointed it; see x. 12 — 15. 

Every place by which this staff" of God's appointment 
shall have passed (cp. Ps. cxxv. 3), and on which place God's 

TopJief,for the King. 

ISAIAH XXX. 33. XXXI. 1 — 3. Trust not in man, hut God, 

It shall be with tabrets and harps : 
And in battles of ' shaking will he fight || with it. 
33 1 Yqy Toi^het is ordained f of old ; 
Yea, for the king it is prepared ; 
He hath made it deep and large : 
The pile thereof is fire and much wood ; 
The breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it. 

XXXI. ^ Woe to them '"^ that go down to Egypt for help ; 

And ^ stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because theij are many ; 

And in horsemen, because they are very strong ; 

But they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, 

" Neither seek the Lord ! 
" Yet he also is wise. 

And will bring evil. 

And "* will not f call back his words : 

But will arise against the house of the evildoers, 

And against the help of them that work iniquity. 
^ Now the Egyptians are ^ men, and not God ; 

And their horses flesh, and not spirit. 

When the Lord shall stretch out his hand, 



s ch. 11. 15. & 

19. 16. 

II Or, against 


t Jer. 7. 31. & 

19. C, &c. 

+ Heb. from 


a oh. 30. 2. & 
30. fi. 

Ezek. 17. \b. 
b Ps. 20. 7. 
ch. 30. 9. 

c Dan. 9. 13. 
Hos. 7. 7. 

d Num. 23. 19. 
t Heb. remove. 

e Ps. 146. 3, 5. 

baud, which wielded it, shall have laid it, shall celebrate the 
breakiug of that staff, with tabrets, and harps, and shall magnify 
the God of Israel. See 2 Chron. xxxii. 23 ; and Vitringa, 192. 

— It shall be with tabrets and harps'\ Especially in the valley 
of Tophet, which formerly resounded with songs and tabrets in 
honour of Moloch, there shall be hymns of praise to Jehovah, 
for the deliverance of Jerusalem, and the overthrow of her 
enemies there. See what follows. 

— in battles of shaking will he {GoA) fight loilh it'\ He will 
fight against the Assyrian power, which never recovered the 
blow it received from God in the destruction of Sennacherib's 
army, and in a century after was destroyed by the Medes and 
Babylonians. See above, on 2 Kings xix. 37. 

Tophet prepabed foe the King. 

33. Tojyhef] See 2 Kings xxiii. 10; and Jer. vii. 31 : 
" Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn 
their sons and daughters in the fire." 

— for the king it is prepared'] For proud, impious, and 
blasphemous enemies of God, such as Sennacherib. 

Questions have been raised as to the place in which God's 
judgment was inflicted on the army of Sennacherib, and as to 
the manner of its infliction. These will be examined more fully 
in the note on xxxvii. 36. Cp. above, on 2 Kings xix. -30. 

In the meantime it may be here observed, that the scene 
of this miraculous visitation was in the neighbourhood of 
Jerusalem. Otherwise, the peculiar purpose of that miraculous 
interposition of the Lord God of Israel on behalf of His own 
City, which He promised to protect from the Assyrian (see 
xxxvii. 33 — 35), would not have been evident. And the Nations 
of the Earth would not have acknowledged Him as the Author 
of that wonderful work, and would not have sent gifts to the 
LoED at Jerusalem, — as they did (2 Chron. xxxii. 23). 

It is most likely that Sennacherib and his army were 
suddenly confounded when they were on the point of seizing 
their prey. See the parallel cases in Dr. Barrow's remarks, 
quoted in the note below, on Acts ix. 3. 

There is much to be said in favour of the opinion of 
S. Cyril, Aquinas, Hugo, Forerius, Sanchez, Grotius, and 
others, that the destruction of the Assyrian army actually took 
place (as the prophet here seems to foretell) in the valley of 
Jlinnom, or Tophet, on the south and south-east of Jerusalem. 

Sennacherib was coming from the south, and this would 
be a spot in which his army could be encamped, if he had 
advanced to Jerusalem ; and this opinion is confirmed by the 
prophecy in x. 16 : " Under his glory the Lord shall kindle a 
burning like the burning of a fire. And the fight of Israel 
shall be for 9. fire, and His HoW One for a fame : aud it shall 

burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day." See 
also the words in the next chapter (xxxi. 9), where this image 
of destroying by fire is repeated, and where it is distinctly 
foretold that the Assyrians would perish by the sword of the 
LoED, " whose fire is in Zion, and whose furnace is in Jeru- 
salem." See also below, on xxxiii. 4. 12. 14. 

In the word Tophet here (a place of fire), and in the 
words "furnace and fire," at the close of the following chapter 
(as well as in the words above, x. 16, 17, " the burning of a 
fire"), there seems to be a prophetic intimation that Senna- 
cherib's army would be destroyed by a hot wind, a blast from 
the mouth of God at Jerusalem. 

It is remarkable that Herodotus attributes that destruc- 
tion to the prayers of a King, who was priest of a god of fire. 
See on 2 Kings xix. 35 ; and below, on xxxvii. 36. Truly, it 
was due to the prayers of a King, praying in the Temple of 
Him, Who liad His "fire in Zion, and His furnace in Jeru- 
salem " (xxxi. 9), " and the breath of the Loed, like a stream 
of brimstone, doth kindle it" to consume His enemies. — That 
King was Hezeklah ; that God was the Lord of hosts. 

But these words, — " Tophet is prepared for the King," — 
have also a spiiitual sense. The King of Assyria warring against 
God was a type of Satan. 

Tophet was prepared for Sennacherib's army ; and so 
Tophet is also prepared for the King, — the Prince of the Powers 
of the Air, the Evil One, — the King, whose types and instru- 
ments all impious Princes, like Sennacherib, are ; according to 
our Lord's words, " Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting 
fire, prepared for the Devil and his Angels " (Matt. xxv. 41). 
Cp. on xxxiii. 4 ; Ixvi. 24. 

Woe to those who trust in Man; the Blessedness 
Ch. XXXI. 1. Woe to them that go down to Egypf] Isaiah 
foresaw that the need of this warning not to go down into 
Egypt, instead of trusting to God, would not be exhausted in 
his own age (see above, Prelim. Note to chap. xxx. and xxx. 2), 
and therefore he repeats it. It is a general admonition to all 
Nations not to trust in man, and " make flesh their arm, and to 
depart from God" (Jer. xvii. 5). 

2. He also is loise'] Egypt boasts of her wisdom, but the 
" princes of Zoan are fools, and the counsel of the wise coun- 
sellors of Pharaoh is become brutish" (xix. 11), and " the fool- 
ishness of God " (that which the world despises as such) " is 
wiser" than the wisdom of this world (see 1 Cor. i. 25), and its 
wisdom is foolishness with Him (1 Cor. iii. 19). 

3. the Egyptians] Rather, Egypt is man (adam), and his 
horses are fiesh (basar) ; but Jehovah is God (El), and Spirit 
(ruach) ; yet ye prefer the former to the latter ! 

N 2 

The Lord shall deliver Zion, 


and punish her foes. 





f Hos. 11. 10. 
Amos 3. 8. 

Or, multitude. 
g ch. 42. 13. 

h Deut. 32. 11. 
Ps. 91. 4. 
i Ps. 37. 40. 

k Hos. 9. 9. 

1 ch. 2, 20. & 
30. 22. 

t Heb. the iduls 
of his gold. 

m 1 Kings 12. 30. 

n See 2 Kings 19. 
3.";, 36. 
ch. 37. 36. 

11 Oi, for fear vf 
the sword. 
II Or, tributary. 
^ Heb. for melt- 
ing, or, tribute. 
orfi. 37. 37. 
t Heb. A 85 rock 
shall pass away 
for fear. 
\\ Or, his strength. 

5 ii 

Both he that helpeth shall fall, 

And he that is holpen shall fall down, 

And they all shall fail together. 

For thus hath the Lord spoken unto me, 
^ Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey. 
When a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, 
He will not be afraid of their voice, 
Nor abase himself for the || noise of them : 
^ So shall the Lord of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, 
And for the hill thereof : 

As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem ; 
' Defending also he will deliver it ; 
And passing over he will preserve it. 

^ Turn ye unto him from whom the children of Israel have *" deeply revolted. 
' For in that day every man shall ' cast away his idols of silver, and f his idols 
of gold. 

Which your own hands have made unto you for '" a sin. 
^ Then shall the Assyrian " fall with the sword. 

Not of a mighty man ; 

And the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him : 

But he shall flee |j from the sword, 

And his young men shall be || f discomfited. 
^ And " f he shall pass over to |1 his strong hold for fear. 

And his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, 

— he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen] See 
2 Kings xxiv. 7, where the historian is speaking of the last days 
of Jerusalem : " The king of Egypt came not again any more 
out of his land, for the king of Babylon had taken from the 
river of Egy))t unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to 
the king of Egypt." Cp. Jer. x.\xvii. 5—7 ; xlvi. 1, 2. 

4. For thus hath the Lokd spoken unto me] The proof 
that the Lord is God, is this, that He will defend Jerusalem 
from that mighty power of Assyria before which the Egyptians 
hiive fallen (see on xx. 5), and will make Assyria itself to fall, 
through fear of the Lord, Whose " fire is in Zion and His fur- 
nace in Jerusalem." See xxxi. 9. 

— the lion] To which God is compared in xlii. 13. Amos 
iii. 8 ; and Christ, Rev. v. 5 ; x. 3. 

5. As birds flying] God will defend Jerusalem with the 
same ease and celerity as birds fly in the air. He will defend 
it with the shadow of His wings (Ps. xci. 4). And yet ye forsake 
the shadow of His Wings, Who dwelleth between the Cherubim 
in the Temple at Jerusalem, and ye go down into Egypt to 
trust in the shadvw of Egypt ! See xxx. 2, 3. 

This word pass over (Heb. pasach) is the same word- as is 
used in the description of the Divine judgment on Pharaoh and 
Egypt by the destroying Angel ; and of the passing over the 
houses of the Israelites whose doors were sprinkled with the 
blood of the Paschal lamb (see Exod. xii. 13. 23. 27, where that 
verb pasach occurs, and E.xod. xii. 11. 21. 27. 43. AS, where the 
substantive 'pesach is found). This word calls attention to that 
sudden destruction of the power of Egypt opposed to God, and 
to that merciful deliverance of His People Israel in the midnight 
of the Exodus, when there was a great cry in Egypt. 

This word, therefore, conveys a severe rebuke to Israel. 
" Ye forsake God for Egypt ; ye forget the marvellous might 
and mercies of the Passover, when He smote Egypt and deli- 
vered you." It also invites the reader to compare the sudden 
destruction of the power of Assyria at night time (see 2 Kings 
xix. 35), and the merciful and marvellous deliverance of Jeru- 
salem from its grasp in the days of Hezekiah, with the divine 
acts at the Passover. 

The word pasach signifies not only to pass over in the 
sense of sparing, but it implies also protection, as by a shadow 
which shelters what is passed over. Cp. Vitringa, p. 203. 

Thus also this word exposes the infatuation and ingrati- 
tude of trusting in the shadow of Egypt instead of God ; and it 
invites the Christian reader to compare this latter destruction 
and deliverance also, as well as the former, with the destruction 
of the enemies of God's Church, and with her merciful deliver- 
ance by Christ, Who is " the Lion of the tribe of Judah " (Rev. 
V. 5) ; and is also the Lord Jehovah that passes over and pro- 
tects her, and Who is also the " Passover " who is slain for her 
(1 Cor. V. 7). 

Observe, therefore, how easy and natural is the transition 
to Christ in the following chapter. 

7. in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver] 
The consequence of the wonderful manifestation of God's power 
in the destruction of the Assyrian army, and in the deliverance 
of Jerusalem, was that His Name was glorified and many turned 
to Him. See above, on xix. 23 — 25, and 2 Chron. xxxii. 23. 

How much more is this verified in Christ, and in the over- 
throw of Satan and Death by Him ! 

8. Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sivord, not of a 
mighty man] Literally, Assur (Sennacherib's army) shall fall 
by the sword of a not-man (Heb. lo-ish), gladio non-viri (no, 
but of the Angel of the Lord), and by the sivord of a not-man 
(Heb. lo-adam, non hominis), of no human arm, but of God 

— he shall flee from the sword] The sword wielded by an 
Invisible Hand. 

— shall be discomfited] See x. 18 ; xiii. 7; xix. 1, where 
the cognate verb occurs, and signifies to melt atvay ; or it may 
mean, he shall be under tribute (see Gesen. 488). Sennacherib 
extorted tribute fi-om Hezekiah, and he boasted of it in his 
inscriptions, still extant (see above, on 2 Chron. xxxii. 1, and 
2 Kings xviii. 14 — 16) ; but God made him to be a vassal to 

9. And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear] He 
shall pass by his rock (his fortress) through fear. He shall 
have no confidence in his strongholds, and will not halt in his 
flight till he has arrived at Nineveh (2 Kings xix. 35, 36). 

— shall be afraid of the ensign] Heb. nes, the standard of 
God; cp. Jehovah-nissi, Exod. xvii. 15. 

This is fulfilled in the flight of the powers of Darkness 
from the banner of tlie Cross. 

The peace and glory 


of Christ's Vmgdom. 

Saith the Lord, whose fire is in Zion, 
And his furnace in Jerusalem. 

XXXII. ^ Behold, " a king shall reign in righteousness, 

And princes shall rule in judgment ; 
- And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, 

And ^ a covert from the tempest ; 

As rivers of water in a dry place, 

As the shadow of a f great rock in a weary land. 
'■^ And '^ the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, 

And the ears of them that hear shall hearken ; 
^ The heart also of the f rash shall understand knowledge. 

And the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak || plainly ; 
^ The vile person shall be no more called liberal, 

Nor the churl said to he bountiful ; 
^ For the vile person will speak villany. 

And his heart will work iniquity. 

To practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the Lord, 

To make empty the soul of the hungry. 

And he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. 



a Ps. 45, 1. &c. 
Jer. 23. fl. 
Hos. 3. 5. 
Zeeh. S. Z. 

b ch. 4. 6. & 

t Heb. heat y. 

c ch. 29. 18. & 
35. 5, 6. 

t Heb. hasty. 
II Or, elegatitlij. 

— whose Jire is in Zion and his furnace in Jerttsalem] And 
with this fire in Zion, and with tliis furnace at Jeru.salem, He 
will scorch the army of Sennacherib in Tophet. See on xxx. 
33, and below, on xxxiii. 14, and xxxvii. 36. Cp. Ps. xxi. 9. 
Mai. iv. 1, where the same word is used to describe the con- 
suming fire of God's wrath. Cp. Targum here, and S. Jerome. 

The Gloey of Cheist'3 Kingdom. 

Ch. XXXII. 1. a king — princes^ Observe the contrast. The 
Prophet had just said that " Tophet was prepared for the 
king " (Sennacherib literally, and spiritually, Satan, see on 
xxx. 33), and that his princes would be afraid and flee from 
" the ensign, saith the Lord, whose fre is in Zion " (xxxi. 9). 
And now he passes on, by a sublime and glorious contrast, to 
speak of another King, namely Christ, and His princes, the 
Apostles and other luminaries of the Church. Cp. Ps. Ixviii. 27. 
Thus the two Kingdoms of Darkness and Light, and the two 
cities of Satan and of God are placed in immediate antagonism 
to each other, and the universal supremacy of Christ as " King 
of kings and Loed of lords " is displayed. 

Therefore this chapter is fitly appointed by the Church to 
be read in the season of Advent (4th Sunday). As S. Jerome 
says, " Nunc alterius vaticinationis exordium est, de Adventu 
scilicet Christus et Apostolorum." 

2. a man'] Heb. ish, a.v)]p (Sgmm.), vir (Vulg.), Cheist (see 
on iv. 1, " seven women shall take hold of one Man " (ish), xlvi. 
11 ; liii. 3). Christ's humanity is here asserted, because it was by 
suflering and perfect obedience in His human nature that He 
received the kingdom here described (see Phil. ii. 8, 9). He 
shall be a hiding-place from the storm of God's indignation and 
from the winds of affliction. See above, iv. 6 ; xxv. 4. 

— rivers of water'] Verified in Christ. See John iv. 14; 
vii. 37, 38. 

— shadow of a great rock] See xxv. 4. Christ is the Rock 
on which the Church is built (Matt. xvi. 18), and from which, 
being smitten for them, the spiritual waters flow which refresh all 
true Israelites in their weary pilgrimage through the wilderness of 
this world to the Canaan of their rest. See on Exod. xvii. 6. 
Num. XX. 8 — 11. 1 Cor. x. 4. He is also the Rock which 
shelters them by its shadow from the heat and from the storm, 
in their earthly pilgrimage through that wilderness. Cp. above, 
xxv. 4; and below, 1 Tim. ii. 5. As S. Jerome beautifully e.K- 
presses it, "Quicunque sub Ejus (i. e. Christi) umbraculo 
fuerit, sic tutus erit in tribulationibus et angustiis, et in mundi 
istius tempestate quomodo qui ventum et turbinem fugiens se 
into abscondit loco, et qui purissimos fontes invenit in deserto, et 
qui in vehementi aestu, solis ardore cuncta torrente, sub promi- 
nenti saxo requieverit." 

— in a weary land] See the words of the Psalmist, Ixiii. 1 ; 
cxliii. 6, where the same phrase is used, aud is applied to God. 


Hence it may he inferred, that He Who is called a 3Ian here is 
also a Divine Person. 

3. that see] That are not blinded by pride like the false 
teachers in xxix. 10; contrasted with the meek who see aud 
hear, xxix. 18, 19. 

4. The heart also of the rash] Rather, the heart of the hasty, 
those ?y/«o haste aw^ry through year (cp. xxxv. 4, where the same 
word is translatedyear/M/), shall understand knoivledge, and the 
tongue of the stammerers (those who would not profess clearly, 
openly, articulately, any faith in God) will hasten (he repeats the 
word of the former clause) to speak plainly. 

This was fulfilled in a primary sense in Hezekiah himself, 
who at the first was in great trepidation, when Sennacherib came 
against Judsea, and who, at that time, did not boldly declare his 
trust in God, but bribed Sennacherib with presents taken from 
the house of the Lord. 

But this prophecy received a larger fulfilment under the 
Gospel. Those who were once timid and wavering, like Nicode- 
mus, became courageous confessors of the truth. And it was 
eminently verified in the Apostles, who in the Garden of Geth- 
semane forsook their Master aud fled through fear (Matt. xxvi. 
56), and specially in St. Peter, who denied him thrice; but 
afterwards, when they had received the Holy Spirit, came for- 
ward boldly, and confessed Him in the presence of His murderers ; 
and when they, who before had spoken with stammering lips (see 
above, xxviii. 11), preached the Gospel of Christ to the world. 
Cp. S. Jerome and S. Cyril. 

— plainly] Literally, bright things. 

Rebuke of the Woeldlt-minded. 

5. the vile person — liberal] There is a play on the words iu 
the Hebrew. The nabal (see 1 Sam. xxv. 3. 25) s?iall no more 
be called nadib — a prince. " Non vocabitur is qui insipiens est, 
princeps" (Vulg.). The prophet is not speaking so much ol 
social duties between man and man, as of religious obligations 
of man to God. The nabal is a profane, worldly-minded scolt'er, 
who "utters error against the Lord" (v. 6), and who thinks 
himself wise because he provides for earthly things like the rich 

fool {&(ppcM>u) in the parable (Luke xii. 20), and who is often 
honoured by the world as a noble, on account of his worldly 
prosperity. Such a man was Shebna in Isaiah's days. See 
xxii. 15. 

— Nor the churl said to be bountiful] Rather, nor the crafty 
be called a gentleman, lit., a man of fortune, a wealthy man 
(see Gesen. 550. 811). The man who resorts to subtle devices 
(see V. 7), and uses "evil instruments" to attain worldly ends is 
often courted and flattered by the world ; but he is a pauper in 
God's sight. The purse-proud Dives of earth will be a wretched 
Lazarus in eternitv. 

Behuke of the careless. 


The gift of the Spirit. 



B Or, when lie 
spedketh against 
the poor in 

II Or, he esta- 
d Amos 6. 1. 

t Heb. Days 
above a year. 

f Heb. the fields 
of desire. 
e ch. 34. 13. 
Hos. 9. 6. 
II Or, burning 
upon, 4"C. 
fch. 22. 2. 
gch. 27. 10. 

(I Or, cliffs and 

h Ps. 104. 30 
Joel 2. 28. 
ieh. 29. 17. & 
35. 2. 

^ The instruments also of the churl are evil : 

He deviseth wicked devices 

To destroy the poor with lying words, 

Even II when the needy speaketh right; 
^ But the liberal deviseth liberal things ; 

And by liberal things shall he || stand. 
^ Kise up, ye women '^ that are at ease ; 

Hear my voice, ye careless daughters ; 

Give ear unto my speech. 
^^ f Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women : 

For the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come. 
^^ Tremble, ye women that are at ease ; 

Be troubled, ye careless ones : 

Strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon ijour loins. 
'^ They shall lament for the teats. 

For f the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine ; 
^^ ^ Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers ; 

jl Yea, upon all the houses of joy in ^the joyous city : 
'■* ^Because the palaces shall be forsaken ; 

The multitude of the city shall be left ; 

The II forts and towers shall be for dens for ever, 

A joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks ; 
•^ Until ^ the spirit be poured upon us from on high. 

And ' the wilderness be a fruitful field. 

And the fruitful field be counted for a forest. 
'^ Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, 

7. The instruments also of the churl (or crafty man) are evU~\ 
Here is another play upon the words in the original {cell celaiv). 

Warning to careless Women. 

9. Mise up, ye women] The Prophet, having reproved the 
sceptical and worldly spirit of the men of Jerusalem, passes on 
to censure the voluptuousness of the women, as he had done 
before in iii. 16 — 26. 

10. Many days and years'] Literally, days upon a year 
shall ye be troubled ; that is, the Year in its revolutions, instead 
of bringing to you seasons of festal joy, shall bring days of 
sorrow and mourning. This prophecy to the Women of Jeru- 
salem was fulfilled in the Babylonish captivity, and afterwards 
in the siege and desolation of that city by the armies of 
Home. See on v. 12. 

11. Strip you, and make you bare] This is a prophecy of what 
would happen to- the women of Jerusalem when led captives. 
See iii. 24; xlvii. 2. Cp. the terrible denunciations in Deut. 
xxviii. 54 — 56. 

12. They shall lament for the teats] Or, they shall smite on 
their breasts, in lamentation. See Sept., Vulg.. Arabic, Targum, 
Oesen. 592. Delitzsch. Cp. Nahum ii. 7, where the captive 
maidens of Nineveh are compared to " doves taberiug on their 

The Prophet here foresees the lamentation of the women of 
Jerusalem for its captivity. This prophecy extends beyond the 
taking of that city by tlie Chaldeans (cp. Lam. ii. 11 ; iv. 3), to 
its desolation by the Romans. See on v. 15. 

It seems probable that our Blessed Lord, going to His 
Passion, referred to this prophecy, when He said to the women 
of Jerusalem, " Daughters of Jerusalem " (see above, v. 9), 
" weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. 
For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say. 
Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the 
paps which never gave suck." (Luke xxiii. 28, 29). And when He 
said, " Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that 
give suck in those days " (Matt. xxiv. 19). 

In the same chapter of St. Luke, v. 48, the people are de- 

cribed as smiting their breasts for sorrow at the sight of the 
suffering Saviour, and the women are specially said to have 
lamented Him by striking themselves, iKSirrovTO ainhv, v. 27. 
On this use of KSnTfirdai, see Matt. xxiv. 30. Luke viii. 52. 
Rev. i. 7 ; xviii. 9. 

Some of the above passages favour the interpretation given 
in the text, which is preferred by Vitringa and others. 

14. The forts] In the original it is in the singular number. 
Heb. ophel, probably (as S. Jerome observes) a reference to the 
fort ophel of Jerusalem, on the S.E. of the Temple. See 2 Chron. 
xxvii. 3 ; xxxiii. 14. Neh. iii. 26, 27. 

The Conveesion of the Jews, united with the 
Gentiles in the Chuech of God. 

15. Until the spirit be poured upon us] Upon us, i. e. upon 
the Jews. Cp. Zech. xii. 10, " I will pottr upon the house of 
David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of 
grace and of supplications : and they shall look upon Me Whom 
they have pierced." The Prophet foretells — to use our Lord's 
words — that " Jerusalem would be trodden down by the Gentiles, 
until the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled " (Luke xxi. 
24). Therefore, this prophecy refers to a time posterior to the 
taking of Jerusalem, and extends to the latter days. 

— the tvilderness he a fruitful feld] Lit., and the ivilder- 
ness shall have become Carmel. fie takes up the prophecy of 
a foregoing chapter, and repeats the words there used : " Leba- 
non shall be turned into a fruitful field " (Heb. Carmel), " and 
the fruitful field " (or Carmel) " shall be esteemed as a forest " 
(xxix. 17), which declared that the Gentiles should be converted, 
and the Jews be rejected for a time. See note on xxix. 17. 

But it is here revealed, that, at length, when the wilder- 
ness of Heathenism shall have been changed into a fruitful 
Carmel, and when the Carmel of the Jewish Nation shall have 
been changed into a wilderness, then the Spirit will be poured 
out also on the Jews (cp. Ezek. xxxvi. 24. Zech. xii. 10 — 14) ; 
the blessed fruits are seen in what follows (vv. 16 — 18). 

16. Judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness 
remain (lit. sit down) in the fruitful feld (Heb. Carmel)] That 

Fruits of the Gospel ISAIAH XXXII. 17—20. XXXIII. 1—3. Woe to the ivichecl. 

And righteousness remain in the fruitful field. 
'^ "^ And the work of righteousness shall be peace ; 

And the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. 
^^ And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, 

And in sure dwellings, 

And in quiet resting places ; 
^^ ' When it shall hail, coming down "" on the forest ; 

II And the city shall be low in a low place. 
Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, 

That send forth thither the feet of " the ox and the ass. 



k James 3. IS 

I ch. 30. 30. 

m Zech. 11.2. 

II Or, and the 
city shall be 
utterly abused. 

n eh. 30. 24. 

XXXIII. 1 Woe to thee ^ that spoilest, 

And thou icast not spoiled ; 

And dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee ! 

** When thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled ; 

And when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they shall deal 
treacherously with thee. 
^ Lord, be gracious unto us ; 

*" We have waited for thee : 

Be thou their arm every morning. 

Our salvation also in the time of trouble. 
^ At the noise of the tumult the people fled ; 

ach. 21. 2. 
Hab. 2. 8. 

b Rev. 13. 10. 

c ch. 25. 9. 

is. Judgment shall abide in the wilderness of the Heathen World, 
and Righteousness in the Cannel of the Jews j that is, both 
Gentile and Jew shall receive Christ. 

19. WTien it shall haiV] And it shall hail hi the going down 
of the forest ; that is, in the destruction of the strength and 
glory of the power of God's enemies, compared to a forest cut 
down. See ix. 18; x. 18, 19; xxx. 30; xlii. 15. Ezek. xxxi. 

— the city shall he loto in a loto place"] The destruction of 
the city of the literal Babylon led to the liberation of the Jews 
by Cyrus, so ib may be expected that God's judgments on the 
mystical Babylon of the Apocalypse will usher in some great 
blessings to the Jews. Cp. below, on Rev. xvi. 12. 

20. Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth 
thither the feet of the ox and the ass] Blessed are ye that sow 
the seed of the Word of Christ in all waters ; not only in the 
heathen world, but also among the Jews, whose conversion the 
Prophet is anticipating. 

In this mention of seed, and of the ox and the ass, Isaiah 
resumes the Evangelical imagery and language of former chap- 
ters (see xxx. 23, 24, He " shall give the rain of thy seed, that 
thou shalt sow," " the oxen and the asses that ear the ground 
shall eat clean provender," and note there), and he contem- 
plates the Jews and Gentiles labouring together in the field 
of the Gospel : " Blessed are ye Apostles and all other Teachers, 
who sow beside all loaters, wliere the feet of the ox and the ass 
tread; the ox is a clean animal, on account of the election of the 
fathers (the Jews) ; the ass is an unclean one, on account of the 
former idolatry of the Gentiles" {S. Jerome). Both Jews and 
Gentiles are to be employed in God's husbandry (so Origen, in 
Deut. p. 390, S. Cyril, Theodoret, S. Greg., Moral, xxxv. 11). 
It is clear that Isaiah is speaking figuratively, and of a time 
when the Law had been succeeded by the Gospel, because he 
pronounces a blessing on a conjunction of the ox and the ass, 
which was forbidden by the Levitical Law. See Deut. xxii. 10. 

It may also be noted that the Gentile World receiving the 
Gospel, was typified by the foal of the ass which carried our 
Lord into Jerusalem. See below, on Matt. xxi. 2 — 5. The 
Prophet takes up the word "feet " (in a later prophecy) : 
" How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that 
publisheth peace" (lii. 7). By such catchwords as these the 
prophecies of Isaiah are riveted together ; one explains another, 
and all form one harmonious whole (see Introduction). In a 
later prophecy he foretells expressly that the time will come 
when Gentiles, as weil as Jews, will be admitted to the sacred 
Ministry of the Church of God. See Ixvi. 21. 

Woe to the Assyrians, and to all other Enemies of 

God and of His People. 

Deliveeance of Hezekiah and of Jerusalem. 

Redemption by Christ. 

Ch. XXXIII.] The discomfiture of Sennacherib is here again 

enlarged upon by the prophet, as a type and specimen of the 

future overthrow of all the adversaries of God and His Church ; 

and the deliverance of Hezekiah and Jerusalem is a figure of the 

Universal Redemption to be wrought by Christ. 

1. Woe to thee that spoilest] Woe to all proud, ambitious 
Oppressors, such as Sennacherib, who recklessly and ruthlessly 
spoil God's people, without provocation or spoliation on their 
part. Here is a warning to all violent persecutors and sacri- 
legious spoilers of the Church of God. 

— And dealest treacherously] Or, ivho wastest. See xxi. 2 ; 
xxiv. 16 (Gesen. 102). 

— thou shalt be spoiled] After the destruction of his army 
near Jerusalem, Sennacherib fled, and left much spoil to Heze- 
kiah. See on v. 4. 

2. Lord, be gracious unto us ; we have tvaited for thee] 
This is the prayer of all faithful Hezekiahs of God's people in 
times of national distress like that of the Assyrian invasion. 
See 2 Kings xix. 15. " We have waited for thee :" see xxvi. 8, 
" In the way of thy judgments, O Lord, we have waited for 
thee." Hezekiah had an immediate answer to his prayer, but 
he waited for moi'e than two years before it was fulfilled 
(2 Kings xix. 29). 

— Be thou their arm — our salvation also in the time of trouble] 
Be Thou, O Lord, their arm, the arm of my people as well as 
mine arm. " Save Thou us " was Hezekiah's prayer (2 Kings 
xix. 19). So David prayed for his people as well as for him- 
self (Ps. li. 18), and so Daniel (Dan. ix. 20). 

— every morning] As in the morning of our deliverance 
from Assyria. See below, xxxvii. 36, and 2 Kings xix. 35, 
" When they" (the inhabitants of Jerusalem) "arose early in 
the morning," and looked forth from the walls of the city, "be- 
hold, they " (their Assyrian enemies) " were all dead corpses." 
Cp. above, xvii. 14. 

3. At the noise of the tumult the people fied] The prayer 
is answered ; the prophet already sees the panic of the Assy- 
rians. At the sound of the noise the people fled ; he hears 
with his prophetic ear the blast by which Sennacherib was 
terrified and fled. See on 2 Kings xix. 7, " I will send a blast 
upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and shall return to his 
own land." 

The word rendered tumult is hamon, wliich is translated 

Judgment on Assyria, 


and on all ike ungodhj. 



t \\e\). salvations. 

11 Or, messengers. 7 

e2 Kings 18. IS, 

f Judg. 5. 0. 

g 2 Kings 18. 14, 
15 IG, 17. 

II Or, withered 

Ps. 12. 5. 

At the lifting up of thyself the nations were scattered. 
^ And your spoil shall be gathered like the gathering of the caterpiller : 

As the running to and fro of locusts shall he run upon them. 
^ "^ The Lord is exalted ; 

For he dwelleth on high : 

He hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness. 
^ And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, 

And strength of f salvation : 

The fear of the Lord is his treasure. 

Behold, their || vahant ones shall cry without : 

^ The ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly. 
"' *" The highways lie waste, 

The wayfaring man ceaseth : 

^ He hath broken the covenant, 

He hath despised the cities, he regardeth no man. 
^ '' The earth mourneth and languisheth : 

Lebanon is ashamed and j] hewn down : 
• Sharon is like a wilderness ; 

And Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits. 
' Now will I rise, saith the Lord ; 

Now will I be exalted ; 

Now will I lift up myself. 


noise in x.xxi. 4, and sounding in Ixiii. 15 ; see also tlie margin 
of xvii. 12, and Ix. 5. 

4. i/our spoii^ He addresses the Assyrians. The spoil of 
your innumerable host, which swarmed like locusts, and threat- 
ened to devour every thing, will be gathered, as by the cater- 
pillar (or locust not yet winged, hruchus, Heb. chasil, from 
chasal, to devour, Oesen. 294), as the running of locusts run- 
ning upon it. Ye swarm like locusts, but ye will be consumed by 
the blast of God's anger ; and the people of Jerusalem, whom 
ye came to destroy, will be like locusts devouring the spoil of 
your camp. " This is the portion of them that spoil us, and 
the lot of them that rob us," says the prophet in the name of 
Jerusalein. See xvii. 12 — 14. 

Here»s another intimation that the destruction of the army 
of Sennacherib took place near Jerusalem (see above, xxx. 33 ; 
xxxi. 9; and below, xxxvil. 3G) ; and that their spoil fell into 
the hands of Hezekiah and his people. And this is commemo- 
rated in the Psalm composed on that occasion : " In Jewry is 
God known; at Salem is His tabernacle, and His dwelling in 
Sion. There brake He the arrows of the bow; the stout- 
hearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep " (Ps. Ixxvi. 
1 — 5. See below, xxxvii. 36). 

This circumstance, together with that which is mentioned 
in 2 Chron. xxxLi. 23, viz., that the Nations, which heard of the 
deliverance of Hezekiah and his city from the Assyrians, sent 
presents to him (cp. the Psalm just quoted, Ps. Ixxvi. 11, 
" Let all bring pi-eseuts to Him "), may serve to explain what is 
stated in 2 Kings xx. 13, that although Hezekiah had given 
away all his silver and gold to Sennacherib, yet he had much 
treasures to show to the ambassadors from Babylon. 

The army of Sennacherib, which had overrun Egypt and 
Ethiopia, and was now returning in triumph, laden with spoil, 
must have aftbrded a rich harvest to Hezekiah. Cp. v. 23. 

5. The Lord is exalted] The scattering of the Assyrians, 
and of all the enemies of God's Church, is due not to man, but 
to God ; to Him be all the praise. 

6. And wisdom — thi/ times'] With an eagle's flight the pro- 
phet soars upward ; and from the deliverance wrought by the 
Lord for Hezekiah and Jerusalem, and from the overthrow of 
their enemies by the blast of God's wrath, and the consequent 
glory and praise of His Name (see 2 Chron. xxxii. 23), He 
hastens to proclaim the blessed consequences of the Redemption 
of the World, wrought by Cubist. He beholds Christ, and 
addresses Him : " Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability 
of Thy times." 


— his treasure'] Christ's spiritual graces are His treasure ; 
not earthltf wealth, such as the silver and gold taken from 
Assyria. This is like a prophetic foresight of Hezekiah's weak- 
ness in displaying his treasures to the ambassadors of the King 
of Babylon (2 Kings xx. 13). 

7. Behold, their valiant ones] The strong men of Judah. 
The prophet returns to describe the distress and alarm produced 
in Judah by the invasion of Sennacherib ; which has already 
been presented to our view in that magnificent picture, " He is 
come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron ; at Michmash he hath 
laid up his carriages." See above, x. 28 — 32. 

— The ambassadors of peace shall tveep bitterly] The 
ambassadors of Hezekiah proposed terms of peace to Senna- 
cherib, who was appeased but for a time by large presents and 
tribute (2 Kings xviii. 14—16) ; but the Invader returned, after 
his conquest of Egypt and Ethiopia, and menaced Jerusalem — 
and then the ambassadors of peace wept in bitter disappoint- 
ment and anguish for the failure of all their overtures. 

8. He hath broken the covenant] Sennacherib has violated 
the terms of the treaty made with him by Hezekiah ; he had 
asked for treasures and had received them ; but now he 
threatens to destroy Jerusalem, and to carry away its people 
captive to Assyria (2 Kings xviii. 31, 32). 

— Se hath despised the cities] The cities of Judah and 
Jerusalem itself were treated with insult by Sennacherib. See 
above, on x. 28 — 32. 

9. Lebanon is— hewn down] The cedars of Lebanon were 
hewn down by Assyrian kings for the structure and ornament 
of their fabrics at Nineveh. See below, on xxxvii. 24; and 
above, on xiv. 8 ; so the Assyrians threatened to make havock 
of all the cedars and oaks — the emblems of glory and power — 
of all national forests. 

— Sharon — Bashan and Carmel] Carmel and Saron — 
the beautiful mountain and fruitful plain on the N.W. and s.W. 
of Palestine; and Bashan, the magnificent range of hills on 
the N.E. — were wasted by the arms of Assyria. Compare the 
Assyrian Inscriptions of Sennacherib, pp. 44, 45 ; and see 2 Kings 
xviii. 14 ; xix. 8, where his attacks of Lachish and Libnah, on 
the west of Judah, are mentioned. Cp. above, xv. ; xvi. ; xvii. ; 
XX. 1; xxi. 11—17, where the Assyrian conquests on the N., 
and N.E., and S.E., and on the s. of Palestine are described. 

10. Now will I rise] A noble transition. God beholds the 
pride and cruelty, and impiety of Assyria, and rises up to 
punish it. 

Everlasting burnings. 


Blessings of the faithful. 



'^ "^ Ye shall conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble : 

Your breath, as fire, shall devour you ; 

And the people shall be as the burnings of lime : 

' As thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire. 
Hear, "" ye that are far off, what I have done ; 

And, ye that are near, acknowledge my might ; 
'* The sinners in Zion are afraid ; 

Fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites ; 

Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire ? 

Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings ? 
'^ He that " walketh f righteously, and speaketh f uprightly ; 

He that despiseth the gain of || oppressions. 

That shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, 

That stoppeth his ears from hearing of f blood. 

And ° slmtteth his eyes from seeing evil ; 
^^ He shall dwell on f high : 

His place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks : 

Bread shall be given him ; 

His waters shall be sure. 





kP8. 7.14. 

ch.59. 4. 

1 ch. 9. 18. 
m ch. 49. 1. 

n Ps. 15. 2, & 24. 

t Heb. in righte- 
t Heb. upright- 

II Or, deceits. 
t Heb. bloods. 

o Ps. 119. 37. 

t Heb heights, OT 
high places. 

11. Ye shall conceive chaff'\ Or rather, ye shall conceive 
hay (dry grass, see v. 24) ; ye shall bring forth stubble. Ye 
Assyrians, who proudly imagine that ye will consume Jerusalem 
and My people as with fire, ye, by your presumption and blas- 
phemy, have conceived and brought fortli dry grass and stubble ; 
and your own breath — the breath of your own nostrils — snort- 
ing as it were with rage against Me, is the tire which will 
kindle and devour you. Cp. above, on i. 31. 

12. And the people^ Rather, And peoples shall become as 
burnings of lime in a kiln, and as thorns cut off shall they be 
burned in the fire. In Palestine, the low matted thorns are cut 
up with mattocks and hooks to be burnt in the lime-kilns near 
the spot where they grow {Dr. Thomson, " The Laud and 
the Book," p. 59). 

Here is another confirmation of the opinion already stated, 
that the Assyrian army was consumed by a hot pestilential 
wind from the Lord, in the valley of Hinnom, on the S. of Jeru- 
salem. See on xxx. 33; xxxi. 8, 9j and below, v. 14; and 
xxxvii. 36. 

The Desteitction of the Assteians a Waening to 
Jeeusalem, and to the Chuech in eveet age, as 


13. Hear, ye~\ Hear, ye heathen that are afar off; and 
hear ye also, my people that are near, what I have done to 
Sennacherib and his army ; and be ye warned thereby to adore 
and obey Me. This admonition extends to all Nations, and to 
the People of God in every age of the Church. 

14. The sinners in Zion are afraid^ The inhabitants of 
Jerusalem, when they arose early in the morning, and saw the 
ground beneath their city strewn with the dead bodies of the 
Assyrians, were awe-struck at the sight, and the sinners in 
Zion trembled for dread of God's Majesty and Power; and 
" fearfulness surprised the hypocrites." 

— Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire ? — 
everlasting burnings ?] The ungodly sinners and hypocrites in 
Jerusalem saw a terrible warning to themselves in the sudden 
destruction of Sennacherib's army, when one hundred and 
eighty-five thousand were swept away in one night by the 
wrath of God ; and they ask this question. 

This Divine judgment was executed (we have reason to 
believe) by means of a hot, fiery, pestilential, scorching wind 
(cp. Jer. iv. 11 ; li. 1), and they perished, as it were, in a 
furnace kindled by the breath of the Lord, " like a stream of 
brimstone," in the Valley of Tophet, on the south of Jerusalem 
(see above, on xxx. 33; xxxi. 9); and their scorched and 
blasted corpses lay visible there before the eyes of the sinners 
in Zion. 

Well might so fearful a spectacle have inspired them with 
alarm, and have reminded them of the fires of Gehenna (so 
called from the Valley of Hinnom, or Tophet, where those 
Vol. V. Past I.— 97 

bodies lay), and might have constrained them to ask them- 
selves this question, "Who among us shall dwell with the 
devouring fire ? Who among m* shall dwell with everlasting 
burnings ? " 

The Chaldee Targum here has these remarkable words: — 
" Who among us shall dwell in Jerusalem, where the ungodly 
will be judged, and will be delivered into Gehenna, into 
everlasting fireV Cp. what is said below, Ixvi. 24, 
where there is a reference to the same sudden destruction of 
the Assyrians : " They " (the inhabitants of Zion) " shall go 
forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have 
transgressed against Me ; for iheir worm shall not die, neither 
shall their fire be quenched." 

These words have a more awful significance, because they 
are thrice quoted by Christ Himself, the Future Judge of 
Quick and Dead, to describe the torments of Hell (Mark ix. 

Thus the destruction of Sennacherib's army before Jeru- 
salem is set forth to the eyes of the World in Holy Scripture as 
a warning and example, like that of Sodom and Gomorrha, 
" sufferLqg the vengeance of eternal fire " (Jude 7. Cp. S. 
Jerome here, and Procopius). 

15. He that walketh righteously'] The prophet does not give 
a direct answer to the question of " the sinners in Zion," but 
exhorts them to repent ; and he promises salvation to all who 
obey God ; and he does this by adopting the words of King 
David, Hezekiah's great ancestor (Ps. xv. 1. 2 ; xxiv. 4). 

The " sinners in Zion " had asked a question beginning 
with the same words as David's Psalm, " Who shall dwell " 
( Heb. Mi yagur : see Ps. xv. 1) ; and Isaiah replies, by re- 
ferring to that Psalm, and to the 24th Psalm. That great 
Ascension-Psalm carries the thoughts upwards from the earthly 
Zion, and from its earthly King, to the Heavenly Jerusalem, 
and to the Lord of Hosts, the King of Glory, the Mighty 
Conqueror, Wlio triumphed over Death, and over all the 
enemies of His People. 

Isaiah, being filled with the Spirit, becomes a spec- 
tator of Christ's glorious Ascension, and of His Session in 
heavenly Majesty, and of the future bliss of His servants, and 
turns to the faithful, and says, " He that walketh uprightly, 
he shall dwell " (Heb. yishcon), the word used by David him- 
self (Ps. XV. 1) ; and he says to every true believer, " Thine 
eyes shall see the King in His beauty ; thine eyes shall behold 
the land that is very far off"," — the Holy Land of the Heavenly 
Palestine. Thine eyes shall see the " King of Glory," — Cheist, 
the King of Israel, — Who was revealed to the Psalmist, and 
that blessed Land, where David longed to be. 

16. He shall dwell on high : his place of defence shall be 
the munitions of rocks : bread shall be given him ; his waters 
shall be sure] This was true, literally, in the days of Hezekiah. 
Hezekiah took care to supply Jerusalem with water (sye 


Thine eyes shall see the King ISAIAH XXXIIL 17—22. 

in His hecnity. 


t Heb. the land of 
far distances. 

p 1 Cor. 1. 20. 
t Heb. weigher? 

q 2 Kings 19. 32. 

r Deut. 28. 49, .50. 

Jer. 5. 15. 

H Or, ridiculous. 

s Pi,. 48. 12. 

t Ps. 46. 5. &125. 


u ch. 37. 33. 
z ch. 5i. 2. 

t Heb. broad of 
spaces, or, hands. 

y James 4. 12. 

t Heb. statute 


z Ps. 89. 18. 

'7 Thine eyes sliall see the Kmg in his beauty : 

They shall behold f the land that is very far off. 
1^ Thine heart shall meditate terror. 

^ Where is the scribe ? 

Where is the f receiver ? 

Where is he that counted the towers ? 
^9 "^ Thou shalt not see a fierce people, 

' A people of a deeper speech than thou canst perceive ; 

Of a II stammering tongue, that thou canst not understand. 

' Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities : 

Thine eyes shall see ' Jerusalem a quiet habitation, 

A tabernacle that shall not be taken down ; 

" Not one of "" the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, 

Neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken ; 

But there the glorious Lord will he unto us a place -| of broad rivers and 
streams ; 

Wherein shall go no galley with oars. 

Neither shall gallant ship pass thereby. 
22 For the Lord is our judge. 

The Lord is our ^ f lawgiver, 

^ The Lord is our king ; 

He will save us. 


2 Chron. xxxii. 30) ; and after the destruction of the Assyrian 
army, Jerusalem was safe, and prospered. 

Jiut bow much more is it verified in the inhabitants of the 
Spiritual Sion, the Church of Christ ! " He " (says iS. Jerome) 
" who is such a person as is described in the foregoing words 
{v. 15), shall divell on high in the kingdom of heaven, in the 
munitions of the Sock, which is Christ Jesus, Who followed 
Israel in the wilderness, and gave to them slielter and loater 
(1 Cor. X. 4)." Bread shall he given him, and his loaters are 
sure in the Word of God, and in Holy Baptism {^S. Barnabas, 
Epist. xi.) ; and he beholds the King in His beauty. Cp. 
S. Cyril here, and S. Justin Martyr, c. Tryp. Hom. § 70, 
where he says, " These words contain a prophecy of that Bread, 
which Christ commanded us to ofier in memory of His Body ; 
and of that Cup which He commanded to be oflered in memory 
of His Blood." 

In the spiritual Jerusalem, the Christian Church, Christ 
Himself, the Divine Hezekiah, gives continual supplies of living 
bread and water to the hungry and thirsty soul (see John iv. 
14; vi. 51—58; vii. 38); and'the living waters of the heavenly 
Zion will never fail. See Rev. xxii. 1. 17. 

18. Thine heart shall meditate terror'^ Thou shalt meditate 
on the terrible judgment, which swept away the army of 
Assyria, and thou shalt ask these questions which follow. 

— Where is the scribe — totvers^ Where are now the Officers 
of the Assyrian army? Where is the Scribe (the sopher), 
who set down in his ledger the tribute which Hezekiah was 
required to pay to Sennacherib ? (2 Kings xviii. 14.) Where 
now is the Receiver, — he who weighed the gold and silver that 
was extorted from Hezekiah ? Where is now the Engineer, 
who made a plan of the towers of Jerusalem, which was to 
be stormed by the batteries of Sennacherib ? 

Where are now vanished the enemies of Jerusalem, — the 
representatives of the proud foes, and sacrilegious spoilers of 
God's Church, who estimate the plunder to be wrested from 
her, and who speculate on her destruction ? 

St. Paul teaches us to make an application of these words 
to all who presume on their worldly wisdom, and rebel against 
God's will and Word (1 Cor. i. 20). 

19. Thou shalt not see'] Thou shalt not see the Assyrians 
any more. They have been destroyed, as the Egyptians of 
Pharaoh's host were. As Moses says, " Ye shall see them 
again no more for ever " (Exod. xiv. 13). 

But thou shalt see the King in His beauty {v. 17). Turn 
thine eyes to looJc upon Zion. Thine eyes shall see Jerusalem 
a quiet habitation. 

Observe how the prophet passes almost imperceptibly from 
speaking of Hezekiah and Jerusalem, to speak of Christ and 
the Church. The deliverance of the one is a pledge of the 
redemption to be wrought by the other. The joy and peace of 
the city of Hezekiah melt away, as in a dissolving view, into 
the glory of the Universal Church, the heavenly Jerusalem. 

— a stammering tongue'] Rather, a barbarous, or strange 
tongue {Oesen. 440), — words illustrated by Eliakim's request 
to Rabshakeh, that he would speak in the Syrian language 
(2 Kings xviii. 26). The Assyrian was a foreign dialect, 
though of the same Semitic family with the Hebrew. 

20. the city of our solemnities] Jerusalem, the city of our 
solemn festivals (Heb. moedim). See note on Ps. Ixxiv. 9. 
It is the same word as in i. 14, where it is translated appointed 


— A tabernacle that sJiall not be taJcen down] The mighty 
Assyrian host, encamped in their tents against Jerusalem ; 
but they have been swept away ; and Jerusalem, which they 
would have destroyed, remains a quiet habitation, a tabernacle, 
or tent, that will not be removed. It is established for ever 
in Christ. 

— stakes — cords] The Church of God is compared to a 
Tent, extended and fastened by cords, attached to stakes (pegs, 
or pins of wood), driven into the ground. See above, xxii. 
23. 25 ; and below, liv. 2 ; and the notes above, on the history 
of Jael (Judg. iv. 21. 23). 

21. But there — thereby] But there is a glorious One, the 
Lord for us ; He is our fortification, our moat, and our river. 
Other cities, like Nineveh and Babylon, are protected by broad 
dykes or streams. Jerusalem, the Holy City, can boast of 
none of these; she has only her softly-flowing brook Siloam 
(viii. 6). But she needs no such defences. The arms of 
the Lord are around her. Cp. Ps. xlvi. 5 ; cxxv. 1, 2. He is 
her place of rivers, and of streams broad with two hands 
(stretched out wide : cp. xxii. 18, and margin). Thither no 
hostile Ship of War, no stately Trireme, shall be able to 
penetrate, and assail us ; for the Lord is our King, and will 
save us {v. 22). 

Sennacherib boasted that " his feet had dried up all the 
rivers of besieged places" (xxxvii. 25). This assurance to 
Jerusalem was therefore very appropriate. 

And how much more is this verified in Christ, and in His 

22. the Lord] Observe the triple repetition of the Name 
Jehovah, after the single enunciation of it in v. 21. It may 

IVreck of Assyria. ISAIAH XXXIII. 23, 24. XXXIV. 1—4. The Day of Doom. 

^^ II Thy tacklings are loosed ; 

They could not well strengthen their mast, 

They could not spread the sail : 

Then is the prey of a great spoil divided ; 

The lame take the prey. 
^^ And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick : 

"" The people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity. 

XXXIV. ^ " Come near, ye nations, to hear ; 

And hearken, ye people : 

^ Let the earth hear, and f all that is therein ; 

The world, and all things that come forth of it ; 
2 For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations. 

And his fury upon all their armies : 

He hath utterly destroyed them. 

He hath delivered them to the slaughter ; 
^ Their slain also shall be cast out, 

And ' their stink shall come up out of their carcases, 

And the mountains shall be melted with their blood ; 
^ And '' all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, 

And the heavens shall be ^ rolled together as a scroll : 

'^And all their host shall fall down. 

As the leaf falleth off from the vine. 

And as a ^ falling/^ from the fig tree. 




II Or, They have 

forsaken thy tack 


a Jer. 50. 20. 

a Ps. 49. 1. 

b Deut. 32. 1. 
t Heb. the fulneit 

c Joel 2. 20. 

d Ps. 102. 26. 
Ezek 32. 7, 8. 
Joel 2. 31. & 3. 

Matt. 24, 29. 
2 Pet. 3. 10. 
e Rev. 6. 14. 
fell. 14. 12. 

g Rev. 6. 13. 

be compared with the Soly, Holy, Holy, ascribed to the 
LoED by the Seraphim, in vi. 3, and is a prophetic gleam of 
the doctrine of the Ever-Blessed Trinity in Unity. 

23. Thy tacMings'] He is speaking to Assyria. Like a proud 
Ship of war, she tried to sail up this stream of divine protec- 
tion, which guards Jerusalem, but she has been wrecked, and 
lier cargo strews the shore with the spoil, and the lame take 
the jprey. The inhabitants of Jerusalem, whom she despised, 
gather up the booty of the proud invader. See above, on y. 4 ; 
and the Tar gum here, Vatablus and Forerius. 

This also is fulfilled in the spiritual Zion, the Church of 
Christ. Her faithful members may be disdained by the World ; 
but they are more than conquerors, through the power of 
Christ, and will divide the spoil. See Ps. Ixviii. 12; and cp. 
Eev. xix. 17, 18. _^ 

24. And the itihalitant shall not say, I am sick : the 
people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity^ 
This was signally exemplified in Hezekiah, King of Judah. 
In the days of the Assyrian invasion he was sick unto death. 
See 2 Kings xx. 1, where the word is the same as here (Heb. 
chalah) ; and this word is applied six times to Hezekiah in 
Holy Scripture. But he prayed earnestly to God, and his 
sickness was healed, and his life was prolonged fifteen years, 
and his City was delivered. 

And not only so, but his iniquity (in distrusting God at 
first, and in giving to Sennacherib the gold of the doors of the 
Temple, and in looking to Egypt and Ethiopia for help, instead 
of trusting the Lord, see 2 Kings xviii. 15, 16. 21) was 
forgiven. He was brought by affliction to a better mind ; he 
prayed and wept sore, and God had mercy on him, and healed 
him, and delivered Jerusalem, and overthrew his enemies. As 
he himself said in the writing which he composed " when he 
had been sick, and was recovered from his sickness " (xxxviii. 9), 
" O Lord, Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the 
pit of corruption ; for Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy 
back" (xxxviii. 17). 

This also is fulfilled by Christ in its largest sense to all 
faithful penitents in the spiritual Jerusalem. They have been 
sick unto death, like Hezekiah; they have not trusted in 
God, but in some worldly helps; but God in His mercy has 
afflicted and humbled them, and has healed and deUvered 
them (Mic»h vii. 18, 19. Matt. ix. 12. Luke iv. 18). 

The Universal Judgment. 

Ch. XXXIV.] The Prophet passes from the Judgment executed 
on Assyria (which had already suggested visions of retribution 
on God's enemies) to speak of the future Uniteesal Judg- 
ment of the whole World. 

We have already seen an example of a similar transition and 
expansion in chapters xxiv. — xxvii., which has its Evangelical 
parallel in Our Lord's prophecies, in Matt, xxiv., of the Judg- 
ment impending on Jerusalem, and of the Universal Judgment. 

The present prophecy of Isaiah is continued and further 
developed by succeeding prophets, especially Jeremiah (xxv. 31 
—34 ; xlvi. 10 ; 1. 27. 39 ; li. 40), and by Zephaniah (i, 7, 8 ; 
ii. 14, referring to Isaiah xxxiv. 6. 11, see the parallels in the 
margin), and all these are consummated in the New Testament, 
in the Apocalypse. 

On the genuineness of this and the following chapter see 
Keil, Einleitung, § 69. A strong argument on their behalf is 
found in the imitation of their language by succeeding pro- 
phets ; e. g. Jeremiah, see on v. 5, and Kueper, Jeremias, pp. 

1. Come near, ye nations'^ In this summoning of the Nations 
and People (rather, peoples), we seem to hear the voice of the 
Angel Heralds of the Great King, before Whose judicial Throne 
of Judgment will " be gathered all Nations " (Matt. xxv. 32). 

2. their armies'] Their host (see v. 4) warring against God 
and His people. 

3. Their slain also shall be east ouf] Like the bodies of the 
Assyrian army suddenly destroyed by God's wrath, and lying 
on the ground, before Jerusalem. See above, on xxxiii. 14; below, 
xxxvii. 36; Ixvi. 24. 

4. And all the host of heaven] He repeats the word host from 
V. 2. Not only the host of the Assyrians and of the earthly ene- 
mies of God will be consumed in that day, but, such is His Might 
and Majesty, and such the terror of His Coming, that the host of 
heaven itself will be dissolved; the heavens shall be rolled together 
as a scroll (the roll of a book, which has been read, and rolled round 
its cylindrical axis, as finished), and all their host, the sun, moon, 
and stars, shall fall like the withered leaves of a vine, or like 
the falling fruit of a fig-tree. 

That this imagery is prophetic of the Great Day is evident 
from its adoption by St. Peter (2 Pet. iii. 7. 10) and by St. John 
(Rev. vi. 13, 14) describing the end of all earthly things. 
O 2 

God's Judgment 


of His treacherous enemies. 

h Jar. 46. 10 
i Jar. 49. 7, &c. 
Mai. 1. 4. 

kch. 63. 1. 
Jer. 49. 13. 
Zeph. 1. 7. 

II Or, rliinocerots, 7 

11 Or, drunken. 

1 eh. 63. 4. 

in See Deut. 29. 

^ For ^ my sword shall be bathed in heaven : 

Behold, it ' shall come down upon Idumea, 

And upon the people of my curse, to judgment ; 
^ The sword of the Loed is filled with blood, 

It is made fat with fatness, 

And with the blood of lambs and goats, 

With the fat of the kidneys of rams : 

For ^ the Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrali, 

And a great slaughter in the land of Idumea ; 

And the || unicorns shall come down with them, 

And the bullocks with the bulls ; 

And their land shall be || soaked with blood. 

And their dust made fat with fatness. 

For it is the day of the Lord's 'vengeance, 

And the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion ; 

"* And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch. 

Edom a Type of God's teeacheeous Enemies. 

5. My stvord shall be bathed in heaven] Rather, mi/ sword 
shall be satiated ov inebriated (as Sept., Vulg.; cp. Oesen. 759) ; 
it is the same word as in v. 7, where it is rendered soaked, and 
in margin drunken. This word (Heb. ravah) is so rendered in 
Jer. xlvi. 10, which is the best comment on this : "This is the 
day of the Lord God of Hosts, a day of vengeance, that He may 
avenge Him of His adversaries : and the sword shall devour, 
and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood ; for 
the Lord God of hosts hatha sacrifice in the North Country by 
the river Euphrates ;" and cp. below, xliii. 24 (margin), where the 
same word is used. God's sword is personified as the Execu- 
tioner of Judgment; as in Gen. iii. 24, "the sword which 
turned every way ;" and see Rev. xix. 15 ; and it is represented 
as satiated in heaven : that is, God's Wrath is not an earthly, 
sensual intoxication ; it is a sober act of deliberate judgment in 
the heavenly sphere of Truth, Wisdom, Justice, and Holiness, 
and when it is filled in heaven, then it comes down to execute 
its purposes on earth. This is expressed in those sublime words 
of the Apocalypse (Rev. xviii. 5), where the sins of the mystical 
Babylon are represented as cementing themselves together in a 
succession of strata, or in storeys, as in some lofty fabric, tower- 
ing upwards, till at length they knock at the gate of heaven, 
and call upon God to destroy her. 

— it shall come doton upon Idumea'] Udom (the word 
Idumea in our Version is from Sept. and Vulg., but it would be 
better to keep the word of the Original, JEdom, here and in «. 6 : 
the Vulg. has Edom there). 

Udom (the descendant of Esau, the son of Isaac and Re- 
becca, and the brother of Jacob or Israel) appears before us in 
Scripture as the unbrotherly Enemy of the people of God in its 
needs and distresses (Num. xx. 14 — 21. Ps. cxxxvii. 7. Obadiah 
10 — 15), and is the representative of those persons and Nations 
who are not wholly alien from the Church of God, but are con- 
nected with it by some ties of affinity or consanguinity, and yet 
behave in a perfidious and heartless manner to it (see below, 
on Ixiii. 1). Edom occupies a place similar to that which is 
assigned to Moab in the parallel prophecy in a former chapter 
(xxv. 10 — 12), and represents Christian adversaries of Christ. 

Edom in his treachery is the Judas of the Old Testament ; 
and in his cruelty he has a representative in Herod the Idumean, 
who professed zeal for the service of the Temple, and restored it 
to great magnificence, while he encouraged heathenism ; and 
pretended a desire to worship Christ, while he was designing to 
murder Him. (Matt. ii. 8. 16.) Edom is classed with Ishmael 
(the son of Abraham by Hagar), and with Moab and Amnion, 
the descendants of Lot. Cp. xi 14 ; Ixiii. 1. Ps. Ix. 8, 9 ; 
Ixxxiii. 6, 7; cviii. 9, 10. Jer. xlix. 7—22. Ezek. xxv. 12—14; 
XXXV. 2 — 15. Joel iii. 19. 

All false Israelites become Edomites. The open heathen 
enemies of the Church of God are symbolized by Assyria ; her 
false allies, by Edom and Moab, the punishment of both is de- 
nounced by Isaiah ; both may read their warning in these two 
terrible chapters (xxxiii., x.xxiv.). Compare Mai. i. 1—5 ou the 
'loom of Edoia. 

6. The sword — is filled — rams — a sacrifice in Bozrah] God's 
execution of judgment is compared to a sacrifice. Every Nation, 
and every man, must be a sacrifice to God, either wilUingly or 
unwillingly. If they oft'er themselves a sacrifice by a willing 
oblation, then blessed will they be, they will partake of the 
Marriage Supper of the Ijamb. But if they will not oSer them- 
selves, they will be immolated as victims by His judicial sword. 
This imagery is repeated by other prophets, Jer. xlvi. 10. Ezek. 
xxxix. 17. Zeph. i. 7 ("The Lord hath prepared a sacrifice"). 
And it is also adopted in the New Testament. See below, the 
notes on Mark ix. 49, and on Rev. xix. 17. 

Bozrah, so called from its being a fortified place, and 
deemed to be impregnable (see Gesen. 134, 135), was the chief 
city of Edom, now El-Biisaireh, in the mountainous region on 
the s.e. of the Dead Sea, half way between it and Petra. 
{^Robinson, Raumer, Grove.) 

The meaning is, that the strongholds of God's enemies 
(especially of those who act in the spirit , of Edomites to the 
Israel of God) will not only be overthrown, but will be made the 
scene of their slaughter. 

This prophecy is expounded, and its spiritual fulfilment, the 
victory of Clu'ist over all His enemies (typified by Edom and 
Bozra in malignity and strength), is displayed in that sublime 
description in chap. Ixiii. 1—6. 

7. unicorns — bullocks — bulls] The word here rendered uni- 
corns signifies bufi^aloes. They represent the strong, lusty 
enemies of God ; and as such are introduced by the Psalmist, 
together with bulls (their companions here), into the prophetic 
scenery of the Crucifixion. (See notes on Ps. xxii. v. 21, and v, 
12.) Tliere the proud, carnal, fierce, and heartless Rulers of 
Jerusalem are compared to these animals ; and here these buf- 
faloes and bulls of Edom represent the enemies of God and of 
His Church, who act in the spirit of the Rulers and People of 
Jerusalem, who cried " Crucify Him, crucify Him." Christ on 
the Cross was gored by the " horns of the buffaloes ;" and fat 
bulls of Basan compassed Him around ; and His Church must 
look for a like treatment before the End comes, (see on Rev. xx. 
8, 9). But it is foretold here that the buffaloes shall come down 
— that is shall fall — and the bullocks tvith the bulls, and their 
land shall be soaked with their blood. Such is the judgment 
reserved for Edomite enemies of God and His Church. Cp. Mai. 
i. 1—5. 

8. the controversy of Zion] Rather, the controversy for 
Zion ; that is, on behalf of the Church of God. Cp. Luke xviii. 
7, and Rev. vi. 10. 

9. the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch] He is de- 
scribing the desolations of Edom ; that is, of treacherous Powers 
represented thereby (see v. 5) ; and he compares their future 
condition to that of Sodom and Gomorrha. This comparison is 
the more appropriate because the literal Edom extended from 
the S.E. shore of the Dead Sea, the tomb of the Cities of the 

That Isaiah's prophecies concerning Edom have not only a 
literal but a spiritual meaning, and reach to the time of Christ, 
is clear from the prophet's words in chapter Ixiii. 1, " Who is 
this that cometh from Edom, with ^^yed garments from Boz^ 

Future miserij of the wicked. ISAIAH XXXIV. 10 — 16. Search ye the Book of the Lord. 


And the dust thereof into bnmstone, 

And the land thereof shall become burning pitch ; 
^° It shall not be quenched night nor day ; 

" The smoke thereof shall go up for ever : 

" From generation to generation it shall lie waste ; 

None shall pass through it for ever and ever. 
' ' p But the II cormorant and the bittern shall possess it ; 

The owl also and the raven shall dwell in it : 

And '' he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of 

They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there. 

And all her princes shall be nothing ; 
'^ And 'thorns shall come up in her palaces. 

Nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof : 

And ' it shall be an habitation of dragons, 

And a court for || f owls ; 

f The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with f the wild beasts of the 

And the satyr shall cry to his fellow ; 

The II screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest ; 
'^ There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather 
under her shadow : 

There shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate. 
Seek ye out of ' the book of the Lord, and read : 







ri Rev. 14. 11. & 
18. 18. & 19. 3. 
o Mai. 1 . 4. 

p ch. 14.23. 
Zeph. 2. 14. 
Rev. 18. 2. 
II Or, pelican. 

q 2 Kings 21. 13. 
Lam. 2. 8. 

rch. 32. 13. 
Hos. 9. 6. 

s ch. 13. 21, &c. 

II Or, ostriches. 
t Heb. daughleris 
of the owl. 
t Heb. Ziim. 
t Heb. Ijim. 

H Or, night 

t Mai. 3. 16. 

rah ? . . . 1 that speak in righteousness, iniglity to save ;" and 
that they extend to the last times, appears from the adoption of 
their imagery in the New Testament ; as in Jude 7, and in the 
Apocalypse, Rev. xiv. 11 ; xix. 20 ; xx. 10, where it is applied 
to the Lake of Fire and Brimstone, which was typified by the 
Dead Sea. See above, on Gen. xix. 24. 

11. the cormorant^ The pelican of the wilderness (Heb. 
Jcaath, see Lev. xi. 18. Deut. xiv. 17. Ps. cii. 6. Zeph. ii. 
14. Oesen. 720. Br. Thomson, L. and B. 261). 

— the bittern'] Rather, the porcupine, or hedgehog. See 
xiv. 23. Zeph. ii. 14. Oesen. 736. 

— confusion, and — emptiness] Heb. ^^oZim and Jo/j«, remark- 
able words, because they are used in Scripture to describe the 
Earth in its ruined condition, before its formation in its present 
state ; see on Gen. i. 2, and above, on xxiv. 10. 

The mightiest powers of Earth, opposed to God, will be 
reduced to a fragmentary chaos, like the ruins of a desolate City, 
and of a shattered World. 

The line and stones (or weights of the plumb-line) were com- 
monly used for building up, but here in the hand of the Divine 
Architect (Whose very acts of destruction have a constructive 
character), they are employed for measuring out what is to be 
destroyed ; and they show the deliberate accuracy, and judicial 
precision, with which the Doom of the Great Day will be deter- 
mined and pronounced. Cp. 2 Kings xxi. 13. Amos vii. 7 — 9. 
Lam. ii. 18. 

13. brambles] Or thistles, or thorns. 

— dragons] Heb. tannim, probably Jackals. See xiii. 22 ; 
XXXV. 7 ; xliii. 20, and note on Job xxx. 29. 

— otvls] Rather, daughters of the ostrich. See on Job xxx. 
29. The animals here mentioned were remarkable for their 
melancholy howl ; an emblem of the doleful and miserable wail- 
ing of condemned souls. Compare our Lord's words, repeated 
seven times in the Gospels, " there shall be the wailing,"- Matt, 
viii. 12 ; xiii. 42. 50 ; xxii. 13 ; xxiv. 51 ; x.xv. 30. Luke xiii. 28. 

14. The wild beasts of the desert — island] See xiii. 21, 22, 
where the same two words {tsiim and iyyim) occur. 

— the screech owl] Heb. lilith, from HI, night (Qesen. 

15. great otvl] Rather, the arroio snake {Bochart, Vitringa, 
Gesen.). Unclean and venomous reptiles, snakes, serpents, and 
scorpions (the emblems of evil men and evil spirits, see on Lev. 


xi.. Prelim. Note), are joined with unclean and doleful birds iu 
this terrible picture. 

This imagery is also adopted in the Apocalypse, and is 
applied to describe the condition of the mystical Babylon after 
her fall. See Rev. xviii. 2. 

— gather under her shadow] Shall brood in the shade 
of it. 

— her mate] Its mate, or associate, whether it be male or 
female. Cp. v. 16. 

16. Seek ye out of the book of the Loed] Rather, Search ye 
upon the book of the Lord ; literally, from upon it, from the 
top of it to the bottom j i. e. throughout it, that is. Search ye 
diligently in all the roll, or volume, of Roly Scripture ; viz. in 
all that the Lord had written in Isaiah's time, or might there- 
after write, and deliver to the Church of God, to be received as 
His Word. 

This is an admonition from the Holy Spirit Himself, "Ulio 
knew what He had written, and also foreknew what He would 
afterwards write ; and it applies to the whole Book of Holy 
Scripture. It may be compared to the words of the Holy Spirit, 
speaking by St. Paul, "All Scripture" (that is, every thing 
that is written by the Holy Ghost, and that is delivered by 
Him to the Church Universal, and is received by the Church, as 
Scripture), " being given by inspiration of God, is profitable for 
doctrine." See on 2 Tim. iii. 16. 

The Prophet here inculcates the duty not only of reading 
the Holy Scripture, but of diligently searching it (cp. John v. 
39), and of weighing all its words, and considering minutely 
the circumstances under which it was written. Cp. Vitringa, 
p. 288. 

Search ye diligently throughout the Book of the Lord — 
the Holy Scripture — and observe what is said there, not merely 
concerning literal wild beasts, unclean and doleful birds and 
serpents, but concerning those sins which are .symbolized by 
them ; and be sure that the desolation which is here pre- 
announced to the literal Edora, and which is foretold in other 
parts of Scripture, as the doom of God's enemies, will be exactly 
fulfilled in all those who imitate their temper, in rebellion against 
God, and in cruelty and treachery to Israel. The words, no one 
of these shall fail, none shall want her mate, have been rightly 
regarded as having also a larger meaning ; viz., that not one of 
God's utterances in Holy Scripture shall fail of its effect (cp. 

The desert shall rejoice ISAIAH XXXIV. 17. XXXV. 1 — 4. i)i the graces of the Gospel. 





a ch. 55. 12. 

c Job 4. 3, 4. 
Heb. 12. 12. 

+ Heb. hashj. 

No one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate : 
For my mouth it hath commanded, 
And his spirit it hath gathered them. 
1^ And he hath cast the lot for them. 

And his hand hath divided it unto them by line : 

They shall possess it for ever. 

From generation to generation shall they dwell therein. 

XXXV. ^ The ^ wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them ; 
And the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. 
It shall blossom abundantly. 
And rejoice even with joy and singing : 
The glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, 
The excellency of Carmel and Sharon, 
They shall see the glory of the Lord, 
And the excellency of our God. 

'^ Strengthen ye the weak hands, 
And confirm the feeble knees. 
Say to them that are of a f fearful heart, Be strong, fear not : 

2 b 

Matt. V. 18 ; xxiv. 35. Luke xxi. 22 ; xxiv. 44. John x. 35), 
and that every prophecy of Scripture will be mated with its 
fulfilment. See Vitringa here, p. 287, and Dr. Fusey, quoted 
above, in the notes on Deut. xxxi. 9. 

A prelude of this future fulfilment is now visible in the 
desolation of Edom. That region abounds with venomous ani- 
mals ; the passage from the south of the Dead Sea was called the 
Maaleh Akrabbim, or Ascent of Scorpions, even in the days of 
Joshua (xv. 3). Its lonely mountains and barren table-lands 
are inhabited by the birds and reptiles here mentioned. Not 
one of them fails ; not one wants its mate (see Kohler, in Mai. i. 
2 — 5), and the " Book of the Lord " declares in solemn tones 
that God has appointed a more awful punishment, even from 
generation to generation, for all moral and spiritual Antitypes of 
Edom. This prophecy (says Vitringa, p. 288), which describes 
the desolate inheritance that God assigns to unclean animals 
■who dwell in the wilderness, and haunt its dark places, is not 
to be limited to them ; these animals are types of men of dark 
and moody minds, who hate the light of truth, and love what is 
false and impure (cp, note above, on Lev. xi., Prelim. Note, 
and on Lev. xi. 9), and for whom the eternity of a howling 
wilderness is reserved, according to the words of the Prophet 
Ezekiel : " The miry places and the marishes thereof shall not 
be healed ; they shall be given to salt " (Ezek. xlvii. 11), which 
words of the prophet seem to have been in the mind of our 
Blessed Lord, when speaking of the Day of Doom ; " Every 
sacrifice " (see here on v. 6) " shall be salted with salt." See 
on Mark ix. 49. 

The Geaces gf the Chttech Militant on Eaeth, to be 


Ch. XXXV.] How beautiful is the transition from the fore- 
going prophecy to the present ! Edom, the land of ungodliness, 
is smitten with eternal barrenness ; but the Wilderness, of all 
who believe and obey God, becomes a Paradise. 

1. The tuilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for 
iheni] Or rather, shall be glad. In the original the word ye- 
susum is probably only a peculiar form of the plural (from the 
verb sus), and the last syllable is not, as is supposed by some 
{Rashi, Gesenius, 787), a pronominal suffix (Aben Ezra, Bott- 
cher, Delitzsch). 

This prophecy has been fulfilled in the change of heathen 
Wildernesses into spiritual Gai-dens of Christ {S. Athanasins, 
S. Jerome, S. Cyril, Theodoret). Christ sprang forth (says S. 
Justin Martyr, c. Tryphon,, § 69) as a fountain of living water 
in the wilderness of the heathen world, which was barren of 
the knowledge of God. And Mattheiv Henry well says, that 
" under the Gospel, the desert land of Heathenism becomes 
blooming. This flourishing desert shall have the glory of 

Lebanon given to it, which consisted in the strength and 
stateliness of its cedars ; and the excellency of Carmel and 
Sharon, which consisted in corn and cattle. All the beauty of 
the Jewish Church passed into the Christian, and appeared in its 
perfection, as the Apostle shows in his Epistle to the Hebrews. 
Whatever is valuable in any institution is brought into the 

— the rose"] Or the crocus. The prophet adopts here, and 
in the following verse, the language of Solomon in the Canticles, 
speaking of the glory of the Church. See Cant. ii. 1, where the 
Church, using this word, says, " I am the rose of Sharon " (see 
the note there). 

2. The glory of Lebanon — Carmel and Sharon'] Here again 
is the imagery of the Canticles. In the Church of Christ the 
glory of Lebanon (the type of heathen lands ; see xxix. 17 ; xli. 
19 ; Iv. 13 ; Ix. 13) shall be blended with the beauty of Carmel 
and Sharon, the loveliest mountain and most fruitful plain of 
Israel. See above, on Cant. iii. 9; iv. 8. 11. 15, as to Lebanon; 
and Cant. vii. 5, as to Carmel; and ii. 1, as to Sharon. 

These prophecies were literally fulfilled by the planting of 
Christian Churches in regions of Lebanon, e. g. at Tyre, Sidou, 
and Syria, especially at Antioch, as recorded in the Acts of the 
Apostles (Acts xi. 22. 26; xiii. 1 ; xv. 35 ; xxi. 3. 7 ; xxvii. 3), 
and by the Apostolic laboiu-s at Csesarea, at the foot of Carmel 
(Acts viii. 40 ; x. 24 ; xxi. 8 ; xxv. 4), at Saron and its neigh- 
bourhood (Acts ix. 35). 

But the prophecy has a far wider range. Wherever heathen 
lands embrace the Gospel, which was foretold by Moses and the 
Prophets, and preached by the Apostles of the family of Israel, 
there the glory of Lebanon is blended with the excellency of 
Carmel and Sharon, in the Church of Christ. 

3. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble 
knees'] That this prophecy has its fulfilment in the Church of 
Christ, is evident from St, Paul's application of it, Heb. xii. 12, 
where he adopts the words in the Sept. here. 

3, 4. Strengthen ye— be strong] The Prophet here re- 
peats the verb chazak, the formative of Hezekiah (properly 
Chizekeyyah, — i. e., whom Jehovah strengthens) ; he says, 
" strengthen the weak," and " say to them that be of fearful 
heart. Be strong, fear not; behold, your God will come with 
vengeance, even God with a recompense; He will come and save 
you;" and thus he propounds ^e^e^iaA'* history as au encourage- 
ment and example to every age ; and assures all men, in every 
land, that although they may be loeak i\nA fearful, as Hezekiah 
once was, through lack of faith, when he gave the gold of the 
Temple to Sennacherib (2 Kings xviii. 15, 16; see above, on 
xxxiii. 24), yet if in the day of distress they turn to God in 
faith, with prayers and tears, as he did, God ivill come with a 
recompense ; He will come and save them in Christ. Cp. Eph. 
vi. 10. James v. 8. Rev. ii. 10; and S. Irenaus, iv. 66, where 
he applies this pi'ophecy to Christ. 

1 our God will come. 


The Way of holiness. 

Behold, your God will come with vengeance, 

Even God ivith a recompence ; 

He will come and save jou. 
^ Then the "^ eyes of the bhnd shall be opened, 

And ' the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped ; 
^ Then shall the '^lame raan leap as an hart, 

And the ^ tongue of the dumb sing : 

For in the wilderness shall '' waters break out, 

And streams in the desert ; 
^ And the parched ground shall become a pool, 

And the thirsty land springs of water : 

In ' the habitation of dragons, where each lay. 

Shall be \\ grass with reeds and rushes. 
^ And an highway shall be there, and a way, 

And it shall be called The way of holiness ; 

*" The unclean shall not pass over it ; 

II But it shall be for those : 

The wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. 
^ ' No lion shall be there, 

Nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, 

It shall not be found there ; 

But the redeemed shall walk tJiere : 
^^ And the "" ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion 

With songs and everlasting joy upon their heads : 





d ch. 29. 18. & 
32. 3, 4. & 42. 7. 
Matt. 9. 27, &c. 
& 11. 5. & 12. 22. 
& 20. 30, &c. 
& 21. 14. 
John 9. 6, 7. 
e Matt. 11. 5. 
Mark 7. 32, &c. 
f Matt. 11. 5. & 
1.5. 30. & 21. 14. 
John 5. 8, 9. 
Acts 3. 2, &c. 
& 8. 7. & 14. 8, 

g ch. 32. 4. 
Matt. 9. 32, 33. 
&' 12. 22. & 
1.5. 30. 

h ch. 41. 18. & 
43. 19. 

John 7. 38, 39. 
i ch. 34. 13. 
II Or, n court fur 
reeds, Sic. 

k ch. 52. 1. 
Joel 3. 17. 
Rev. 21.27. 
II Or, for he shall 
be with them 

1 Lev. 2fi. 6. 
ch. 11. 9. 
Ezek, 34. 25. 

m ch.51. 11. 

5, 6. Then the eyes of the blind— dumb stuff — tJte desert^ 
Our Lord appeals to the fulfilment of this prophecy by Himself 
as a proof of His being the Messiah. See Matt. xi. 4—6. 
Luke vii. 22 ; cp. S. Justin Martyr, c. Tryphon., § 69 ; S. Ire- 
n<Bus, iv. 66 ; Tertullian, c. Marcion, iv. 24, where it is shown 
that the prophecies in this chapter were fulfilled by Christ ; and 
so iS". Jerome and S. Cyril here. 

This prophecy is also always being fulfilled in a spiritual 
sense, in the Church of God. The s])iritually blind are ever 
recovering their sight, and the ears of those who were spi- 
ritually deaf are being opened, and the lame are enabled to leap 
as a hart, and the tongue of the deaf to sing, by the blessed in- 
fluence of the Gospel. On this spiritual blindness, lameness, and 
deafness, see xlii. 18 ; xliii. 8. Matt. xv. 14. John ix. 39. Eph. 
i. 18. Heb. xii. 13. 2 Pet. i. 9, and Hengst. here. 

— streams in the deserf] Streams of the living water of the 
Gospel in the wilderness of Heathenism. Cp. below, xliii. 20 ; 
xliv. 3, 4. See John vii. 38, 39. Eev. xxii. 17. 

7. the parched ground shall become a pool] Rather, the 
mirage shall become a real lake. The mirage, Heb. sharab, 
is the "fata morgana " (called in Sanscrit " the antelope's 
thirst "), a phenomenon known to travellers in the sandy de- 
serts of the East, in which the horizon sometimes assumes the 
appearance of a waving and tremulous expanse of water, where 
mountains are mirrored, and which mocks their hopes of water 
by an illusory vision of it. See Oesen. here, 849 ; and Fuerst, 
1440 ; Thomson, " The Land and the Book," 523. 

Before the preaching of the Gospel, the Nations of the 
World wandered like travellers in the wilderness, and were 
allured and baulked by unreal visions and dream-like phantoms 
of Truth, in the shadowy mirages of vain metaphysical theories 
and philosophical speculations ; but in the Gospel of Christ they 
have pure fountains and calm lakes of living water, which re- 
fresh them in their weary journey to their heavenly home. 

Did Mohammed allude to this passage of Isaiah when he 
said in the Koran (ch. xxxiv.), " The works of unbelievers are 
like the serab, which the thirsty thinks to be water, until, when 
he comes to it, he finds it to be nothing " ? 

— In the habitation of dragons, tuhere each lay~\ In the 
dii:elling of /jackals (see above, xxxiv. 13) its lair (lit. her lair, 
where the female jackal gave birth to, and suckled, her young), 
there green grass shall spring up, with reeds and rushes, for 
defence and warmth. 


8. And an highioay shall be there — the way of holiness'] Of 
which the Holy Baptist was the pioneer, when, appealing to 
Isaiah, he preached, saying, "This is he that was spoken of by 
the prophet Esaias, saying. The Voice of one crying in the 
wilderness. Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths 
straight." " I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness. 
Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias " 
(Matt. iii. 3. John i. 23 ; cp. below, xl. 3); and which is called 
" the way " in the New Testament (Acts ix. 2 ; xix. 9. 23 ; 
xxiv. 22), being the knowledge and obedience of Him Who is 
" THE Wat " (John xiv. 6). See (S. Jerome here. 

— The unclean'] Such as those who are typified in the fore- 
going chapter by the unclean animals there mentioned (xxxiv. 
11—16 ; cp. Heb. xii. 14. Rev. xviii. 2; xxi. 27). 

— The tuayfaring men] Literally, the man who walks that 
ivay (that is, every one who takes care to keep to that road), 
although he be a fool in the opinion of the world, which fondly 
deems itself wise, he shall not go astray, but will arrive safe 
at his journey's end. Cp. xxx. 21, and Luke x. 21. 

9. Nor any ravenous beast shall go up] The Road is so plain 
that the simplest cannot miss it ; and it is so lofty and well fenced, 
that no beast of prey, however strong, can ascend and enter it. 

— redeemed] Heb. geiilim, fi'om Goel, the Redeemer, of 
Whom the Patriarch Job speaks in those remarkable words 
Job xix. 25, and see the note there ; and cp. Rev. xiv. 4. 

10. the ransomed of the LoED shall return^ and come to Zion 
ivith songs] As the captive exiles returned from Babylon with 
songs of joy to Jerusalem. See above, Prelim. Note to " the 
Songs of Degrees" (Ps. cxx. — cxxxiv.), where it is shown that the 
consummation of tlaat joy, and of the music of those songs, is 
realized in the going up of the faithful children of Abraham to 
the spiritual Zion of the Church of Christ on earth, and to the 
Jerusalem that is above, which is free, and is the mother of us 
all (Gal. iv. 26). In that city will be no sorrow nor sighing, 
as the beloved Disciple says in the Apocalypse j in it "there 
shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall 
there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" 
(Rev. .vxi. 4; cp. Rev. vii. 17; and above, xxv. 8; below, Ixv. 

Observe how, after the historical narrative (in the four fol- 
lowing chapters) concerning the deliverance of Hezekiah and 
Jerusalem from the invading army of Assyria, and the sudden 
destruction of that army — a narrative which was requisite for thtf 

Sorrow shall flee away. 

ISAIAH XXXVI. 1 — 3. Sennacherib's invasion of Judah. 





n ch. 25. 8. & 

65. 19. 

Rev. 7. 17. & 

a 2 Kings 18. 
13, 17. 

2 Chron. ,32. 1. 

] Or, tecrelary. 

They shall obtain joy and gladness, 
And ° sorrow and sighing shall flee away. 

XXXVI. ^ Now ^ it came to pass in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, 
that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defenced cities of 
Judah, and took them. 

2 And the king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem unto 
king Hezekiah with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper 
pool in the highway of the fuller's field. ^ Then came forth unto him Ehakim, 
Hilkiah's son, which was over the house, and Shebna the || scribe, and Joah, 
Asaph's son, the recorder. 

elucidation of the language of the prophecies of Isaiah — the pro- 
phet returns in chapter xl., and in the chapters which follow, to 
describe, in fuller and clearer language, the preaching of John 
the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, and the way to be pre- 
pared by him, which is the subject of the present chapter, v. 8 ; 
and the blessed effects of the ministry of Christ and His Apostles 
in transforming the Wilderness of the World into a Garden of 
God. Thus the two main portions of Isaiah's prophetical 
writings are seen to be connected by the sacred bond of the 
Gospel of Christ. Cp. below, Frelim. Note to chap. xl. 

SALEM, AND THE Destruction of the Invading Army 
OF Assyria under Sennacherib. 

Ch. XXXVI.— XXXIX.] These chapters suggest the follow- 
ing questions : — 

I. Wliy was an historical narrative inserted in the midst 
of a series of prophecies ? 

II. Why was this historical narrative inserted in this 
particular place ? 

I. This history is a proof of the prophetical mission and 
prophetic gifts of Isaiah. 

The fenced cities of Judah had been taken by the armies 
of Assyria under Sennacherib j and even king Hezekiah (who 
had showTi his piety by the restoration of true religion, and by 
the celebration of a great Passover) fainted with fear, and gave 
the treasure from his own house and from the Temple of the 
Lord, to the Assyrian Invader, and cut ofl" the gold from the 
doors of God's house to appease his cupidity and to deprecate 
his wrath. Hezekiah also himself was at that time afflicted 
with a dangerous sickness, perhaps produced, or aggravated, by 
public distress; and he seemed to be on the point of death 
(see xxxviii. 1), and the throne of David appeared in danger of 
being overthrown, and the house of David to be in peril of being 
extinguished, for Hezekiah at that time had no child. 

The more powerful kingdom of the ten tribes of Israel, and 
the warlike realm of Syria, had also already fallen a prey to the 
victorious arms of the same empire, Assyria, which now menaced 
Jerusalem with a great host, and breathed fury against it, and 
even the mighty military dynasties of Egypt and Ethiopia were 
about to succumb beneath its yoke. 

Then Isaiah the prophet came forward to comfort Heze- 
kiah, and to assure him that his prayers were heard, and that 
* his city would be delivered within a definite time — three years 
— from the arms of Assyria; and that he himself would be 
restored to health within a specified number of days — three in 
number — and that ff teen years would be added to his life ; and 
that he would have children born to him; and that the As- 
syrian army would suddenly be destroyed, and the great Assyrian 
conqueror, Sennacherib himself, would escape, and flee in panic 
and shame to his own land, and would there fall by the sword 
(xxxvii. 7. 29. 34. 38). 

This historical narrative distinctly affirms that these pro- 
phecies, so circumstantial and minute, were delivered openly to 
a public personage, dwelling in a populous city, namely, to King 
Hezekiah ; and it no less clearly asserts that these prophecies 
of Isaiah were fulfilled. 

This narrative is a part of divinely-inspired Scripture, and 
has been received as such by the Hebrew Church, and by Christ 
Himself and His Apostles. 

It is therefore a true history. 

Hence it is evident that Isaiah was endued by God, in a 
signal manner, with the gift of prophecy. 

II. The insertion of this historical narrative in this place 

is tantamount to an assertion that the prophecies in the fore- 
going chapters concerning the Assyrian invasion were delivered 
before the events which are related in the narrative ; and those 
prophecies are further proofs of the wonderful en'dowments of 
Isaiah as a prophet sent from God and filled with the Holy 

The fulfilment of other prophecies of Isaiah concerning 
later events, such as those which relate to the siege of Tyre by 
Nebuchadnezzar, and to the capture of Babylon itself, under 
circumstances of a very extraordinary kind, by the Medes and 
Persians, and the restoration of the .lews by Cyrus, twice men- 
tioned by name in the prophecies of Isaiah ; and still more, the 
wonderful accomplishment of Isaiah's prophecies relating to the 
forerunner of the Messiah, John the Baptist, and to the Incar- 
nation of Immanuel, to be born of a Virgin of the house of 
David, and to the Birth, Office, Preaching, Miracles, Sufi'erings, 
and Victory of the Messiah, over Satan, Death, and the Grave ; 
and all the blessed consequences of those victories in the Gift 
of the Holy Spirit, and in the setting up of His Church in 
Jerusalem, and in its extension into all the world, and in the 
preaching of the Gospel to all Nations, — these add new strength 
to the proof of Isaiah's prophetic mission, and of the Divine 
origin of Christianity ; and they aSbrd conclusive evidence that 
the other great prophecies of Isaiah, which yet remain to be 
fulfilled, namely, those which relate to the Universal Resurrec- 
tion and Judgment to come, and to an Eternity of future 
Rewards and Punishments, will be fulfilled also. 

For annotations on the four following chapters, the reader 
is invited to refer to the Commentary upon them in the Second 
Book of Kings, chapters xviii. 13 — 37 ; xix. ; xx. ; and in 
2 Chron. xxxii. 1 — 30 : some few supplementary notes will be 
added here. The slight textual variations between the naiTa- 
tive here and that in the Second Book of Kings, may be seen 
partly in Vitringa, pp. 305, 306, and more fully in Delitzsch, 
pp. 353—372. 

Ch. XXXVI. 1. in the fourteenth year of king Sezelciah'] 
For a vindication of this chronological statement from the 
objections of some recent critics, antiquarians, and historians, 
who suppose an error in the text here, and in 2 Kings xviii. 13, 
and would alter the words "fourteenth year" into twenty- 
seventh year, see above, on chaps, xviii., xix., xx., and on 
2 Kings xviii. 13. 

— Sennacherib king of Assyria"] Acting as viceroy of Sargon 
his father, whom he succeeded on the throne ; see the notes 
just referred to. Isaiah survived Sennacherib, for he mentions 
his death, xxxvii. 38. No wonder that Isaiah should call him 
" King of Assyria." To Isaiah and his contemporaries in 
Judah, Sennacherib was " the king of Assyria ;" he wielded the 
power of that kingdom ; and though in the fourteenth year of 
Hezekiah, Sargon his father was still living, yet no one can be 
surprised that, by a prolepsis or anticipation familiar to all 
writers in similar cases (see below, on Mark ii. 26), Senna- 
cherib, his celebrated son and successor, should be called "King 
of Assyria," when he appeared before Jerusalem at the head of 
the armies of that empire. 

— the defenced cities of Judah"] See above, x. 28—32. 

2. the upper pool] Where Isaiah had met Ahaz the father of 
Hezekiah, and had delivered the prophecy concerning the birth 
of Immanuel; see vii. 3. Perhaps Rabshakeh wished to get 
possession of the water of that pool, in order to cut off the 
supply from the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to secure it for 
his own forces. See 2 Chron . xxxii. 3 — 5.30; and cp. above, 
xxii. 9. 11. 

3. Eliakim, Hilkiah—and Shebna] The faithful Eliakim 

EahskaJceh's blasphemy ISAIAH XXXYI. 4 — 22. at Jerusalem. 

^ ''And Rabshakeli said unto them, Say ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the chrYIt 
great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein thou trustest ? ^ ^ Kingsis. 
^ I say, saijest thou, (but they are but f vain words) || I have counsel and strength I H^b.a«,«,d 
for war : now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me ? ^ Lo, li oTbut ccwsei 

^^ and strength are 

thou trustest in the "staff of this broken reed, on Egypt; whereon if a t^^t^ ^'^^ir^^i^^-,^ 
lean, it wiH go into his hand, and pierce it : so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to 
all that trust in him. 

^ But if thou say to me. We trust in the Lord our God : is it not he, whose 
high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, and said to Judah 
and to Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar ? 

^ Now therefore give || pledges, I pray thee, to my master the king of Assyria, ii or, ho.iage.. 
and I will give thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set 
riders upon them. ^ How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of 
the least of my master's servants, and put thy trust on Egypt for chariots and 
for horsemen ? 

^^ And am I now come up without the Lord against this land to destroy it ? 
the Lord said unto me, Go up against this land, and destroy it. 

^^ Then said Eliakim and Shebna and Joah unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray 
thee, unto thy servants in tlie Syrian language ; for we understand it : and 
speak not to us in the Jews' language, in the ears of the people that are on 
the wall. 

12 But Rabshakeh said. Hath my master sent me to thy master and to thee 
to speak these words ? hath he not sent me to the men that sit upon the wall, 
that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you ? 

^^ Then Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language, 
and said. Hear ye the words of the great king, the king of Assyria. ^^ Thus 
saith the king. Let not Hezekiah deceive you : for he shall not be able to 
dehver you. '■^ Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying. 
The Lord will surely deliver us : this city shall not be delivered into the hand 
of the king of Assyria. ^^ Hearken not to Hezekiah : for thus saith the king 
of Assyria, || f Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me : |,^;;/f */'^ 
'^ and eat ye every one of his vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye p 
every one the waters of his own cistern ; ^^ Until I come and take you away to "bilssl 
a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and 

1^ Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, The Lord will deliver us. 
Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the 
king of Assyria ? '^ Where are the gods of Hamath and Arphad ? where are 
the gods of Sepharvaim ? and have they dehvered Samaria out of my hand ? 
20 Who are they among all the gods of these lands, that have delivered their 
land out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand ? 

21 But they held their peace, and answered him not a word : for the king's 
commandment was, saying, Answer him not. 

2-- Then came Ehakim, the son of Hilkiah, that ivas over the household, and 


Heb. Make 
with me a 

A Zech. 3. 10. 

joined here with Shebna, who seems to have afterwards sup- 
planted him. Sec on xxii. 15. 20, 21 ; and 2 Kings xviii. 18. 

6. thou trustest in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypf] 
This assertion appears to have been time. Hezekiah at first 
looked for help from the power of Egypt, which was utterly 
overthrown by Sennacherib, as appears from Assyrian- Inscrip- 
tions, and from what is said above on xx.. Prelim. Note ; and 
XX. 3 — 6; XXX. 2 — 5; and on 2 |s[ings xviii. 21; and below, 

Ezek. sjcix. 6, " The inhabitants of Egypt . . . have been a najf 
of reed to the house of Israel. When they took held of thee 
(Egypt) by thy hand, thou didst break and rend all their 
shoulder, and when they leaned upon thee, thou nvadest all 
their loins to be at a stand" (or, to shake). 

17. Until I come and take you aioay"\ As many of the inha- 
bitants of Samaria had been taken away by Sennacherib's father 
Sargon (2 Kings xviii. 11). 

Vol. V. Paet I.— 105 ^ 

llczekialisp-ayer in the Temple. ISAIAH XXXVII. 1 — 16. Isaiah foretells Assyria s fall. 




a 2 Kings 19. 1, 

II Or provoca- 

t Heb. found. 

II Or, pul a 
tpirit into him. 

b Jer. 49. 23. 

Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, to Hezeldah with 
their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh. • 

XXXYII. ^ And ^ it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he 
rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house 
of the Lord. 

2 And he sent Eliakim, who urns over the household, and Shebna the scribe, 
and the elders of the priests covered with sackcloth, unto Isaiah the prophet 
the son of Amoz. ^ And they said unto him. Thus saith Hezekiah, This day 
is Si day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of || blasphemy : for the children are 
come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth. ^ It may be the 
Lord thy God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom the Idng of Assyria 
his master hath sent to reproach the living God, and will reprove the words 
which the Lord thy God hath heard : wherefore lift up thy prayer for the 
remnant that is f left. 

^ So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah. 

^ And Isaiah said unto them. Thus shall ye say unto your master, Thus 
saith the Lord, Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard, wherewith 
the seiwants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. 

^ Behold, I will || send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and 
return to his own land ; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own 

^ So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against 
Libnah : for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish. 

^ And he heard say concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, He is come forth 
to make war with thee. 

And when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 

^^ Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Let not thy God, 
in whom thou trustest, deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into 
the hand of the king of Assyria. 

^^ Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands 
by destroying them utterly ; and shalt thou be delivered ? 

^^ Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have 
destroyed, as Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which 
ivere in Telassar ? '^ Where is the king of '' Hamath, and the king of Arphad, 
and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah ? 

^^ And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and 
read it : and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the Lord, and spread it 
before the Lord. 

'^ And Hezekiah prayed unto the Lord, saying, ^^ Lord of hosts, God of 
Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone. 

Ch. XXXVII.] For notes to this chapter, the reader is 
requested to refer to the parallel narrative, in the Second Book 
of Kings (2 Kings xix.). 

1, 2. into the house of the Loed] These acts of Hezekiah 
the king, who rent his clothes, and covered himself with sack- 
cloth, and went into the house of the Lord (see also v. 14), 
and who sent his chief ministers, Eliakim and Shebna, and the 
elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the 
prophet, were public declarations of Hezekiah's repentance and 
trust in God, visible to the eyes of his People, in his capital 
city, Jerusalem; and they received a public recognition and 
reward from God. 

They arc a noble example of moral courage in religion on 
the part of Sovereign Rulers and of persons in high estate, and 
th^ are an encouragement to Kings and Statesmen to acknow- 

ledge God's Supremacy, and to seek openly for His protection, 
by public religious acts, especially in times of national trouble 
and distress. 

They were also emphatic acknowledgments, on King Heze- 
kiah's part, of the prophetic mission of Isaiah, and are practical 
proofs of it. 

3. the children are coine to the hirth"] See Isaiah's reference 
to these words in xxvi. 18. 

See also Bp. Andrewes' Sermon on this text (iv. 341), con- 
cerning national deliverances. 

7. rumour'] See above, xxviii. 19, where the same word is 
used ; and on 2 Ki-ngs xix. 7. 

9. Ethiopia] Judah had looked for help to Ethiopia, as well 
as to Egypt, but looked in vain. Both these nations were sub- 
dued by the arms of Sennacherib. See above, oil xx. 1 — 6. 

Hezekialis second praijer. 


Isaiah's prophecy. 

of all the kingdoms of the earth : thou hast made heaven and earth. ''^ '^ Incline ^ before 
thine ear, Lord, and hear; open thine eyes, Lord, and see : and hear ^ Dan. VAs. 
all the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent to reproach the living God. 
^^ Of a truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the f nations, and m^^. lands. 
their countries, ^^ And have feast their gods into the fire : iov ihej n'cre no ^ ueh. given. 
gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone : therefore they have 
destroyed them. ^^ Now therefore, Lord our God, save us from his hand, 
that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord, even 
thou only. 

-^ Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent unto Hezeldah, saying, Thus saith the 
Lord God of Israel, Whereas thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib 
king of Assyria : — This is the word which the Lord hath spoken concerning 
him ; The virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee, and laughed thee 
to scorn ; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee. ^-^ Whom 
hast thou reproached and blasphemed ? and against whom hast thou exalted 
thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high ? even against the Holy One of 
Israel. '■^'^ f By thy servants hast thou reproached the Lord, and hast said. By l^.f^ftij''-" 
the multitude of my chariots am I come up to the height of the mountains, to '"^'"'"^'■ 
the sides of Lebanon : and I will cut down f the tall cedars thereof, and the ^ ^^\ '*« '""- 

' I ' ness of the cedar f 

choice fir trees thereof : and I will enter into the height of his border, and ^chlichnkeTr 
II the forest of his Carmel. ^^ I have digged, and drunk water ; and with the Xo^^^hefLst 
sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of the || besieged places. %d.''^''"" "' 

^^ II Hast thou not heard long ago, how I have done it ; and of ancient times, ^'"f* „ . ,, 

11 O O ' J 'II Or, Hast thou 

that I have formed it ? now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be ThmTmadTJt 
to lay waste defenced cities into ruinous heaps. ^^ Therefore their inhabitants /orLTio/"^ 
ivere f of small power, they were dismayed and confounded : they were as the 1ho',MiToZ' 

^1^11-11 IT T bring it to be 

grass of the field, and as the green herb, as the grass on the housetops, and ^"i-g„"'"^'*t^^"/to 

as corn blasted before it be grown up. "^^ But I know thy 1 1 abode, and thy asTKingslgTs"! 

going out, and thy coming in, and thy rage against me. 

against me, and thy tumult, is come up into mine ears, therefore ^ 

my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by 

the way by which thou camest. 

^^ And this shall he a sign unto thee. Ye shall eat this year such as groweth 
of itself ; and the second year that which springeth of the same : and in the 
third year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof. 

29 Because thy rage L"^'" ^"""'"^ 

•n T 1 II Or, sitting. 

Will 1 put d ch. 30. 28. 

■"- Ezek. 38. 4. 

24. Lebanon — cedars— fir trees (or rather cypresses)] That 
the Kings of Assyria made havoc in the forests of Lebanon by 
hewing down the cedars and cypresses, appears from their 
own records, in extant Assyrian inscriptions. See above, on xiv. 8. 

25. / have digged, and drunk water ; and with the sole of 
my feet have I dried up all the rivers of the besieged plaees'\ Or 
it may mean, I tvill dry up the rivers (or, canals) of Matsor 
(Egypt). See above, on xix. 6 (.£i'/»e/t«, Vitringa, 325 ; Gesen. 
501 ; and so Delitzsch, and others). The word matsor signifies 
a castle, a fortress, a citadel, a strong city (Ps. xxxi. 21 ; Ix. 9 ; 
and Jer. x. 17. Hab. ii. 1. Zech. ix. 3). Therefore the render- 
ing in the text is defensible, and is preferred by the ancient 

Sennacherib subdued Arabia (see xxi. 13 — 17) ; and he is 
called " King of the Arabians," as well as of the Assyrians by 
Herodotus (ii. 141) ; and in his march to that country, and to 
Egypt, and toward Ethiopia, the former part of this boast was 
doubtless realized. But it was not to be verified at Jerusalem, 
which was girt round and moated by the impassable river of 
God's power and love ; and he was to be wrecked in his attempts 
to navigate that stream, and assault the city which was fenced 
by it. See above, on xxxiii. 21 — 23. 

26. I have done it'\ I, the Lord God of Israel, in Whose 
hand thou, O Assyria, art a rod and staff to execute My 


purposes (see x. 5. 15; and on xxx. 32). J have done it — not 

29. my hook — my bridle'] Or, my ring, my muzzle. Cp. 
Ezek. xxxviii. 4. 

30. this shall be a sign unto thee] To thee, O Hezekiah, 
whose faith and patience are thus to be exercised. It was not 
till the third year after the delivery of this prophecy (see 
2 Kings xix. 29) that he was delivered from the fear of Assyria. 

But God vouchsafed another sign to him personally, when 
he was on the brink of the grave (xxxviii. 1 ; see 2 Kings xx. 
1, 2), viz. that on the third day he should recover, and go up 
to the house of the Lord. See above, 2 Kings xx. 5. 8. 

— Ye shall eat this year such as groweth of itself] They 
could not sow the lands, on account of the Assyrian invasion, 
and were obliged to subsist on what was self-sown. And in 
the following year their distress was to be still greater ; for 
they would be constrained to content themselves with the pro- 
duce of the remnant of the self-sown crop ; but in the third 
year they would be delivered from all fear of the invaders, and 
would be enriched by much spoil taken from them. See xxxiii. 
4. 23. 

Isaiah thus tried their faith, and prepared them for a 
dearth, and suggested the duty of making provision for it. 
P 2 

Promise of Christ. 


Assyria's overthroiv. 




t Heb. the 

escaping of the 

hiiuse of Judiik 

thai remaineth,. 

t Heb. the 


e2 Kings 19. 31. 

ch. 9. 7. 

t Heb. shield. 

f 2 Kings 20. G. 
ch. 38. 6. 

g2 Kings 19. 35 

31 And f the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take 
root downward, and bear fruit upward : ^'' For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a 
remnant, and f they that escape out of mount Zion : the " zeal of the Lord of 
hosts shall do this. 

33 Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, He shall 
not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with 
t shields, nor cast a bank against it. 34 By the way that he came, by the same 
shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the Lord. 35 Yoy I 
will "^ defend this city to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David's 

36 Then the ^ angel of the Lord went forth, and smote in the camp of the 
Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand : and when they arose 
early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. 

Here also Isaiah, like Joseph (see on Gen. xli. 34), gave 
a public test, which all could apply for the trial of his prophetic 
gifts. They stood the test ; and his mission from God was proved. 

31. shall— take root doivnward, and bear fruit upward} 
Although it is hewn down to the ground, yet it shall sprout up 
afresh in Christ. See xi. 1—10; xxvii. 6: Shearjashub, "A 
remnant shall return," is a watchword of Isaiah. 

32. they that escape'] Heb. feleytah, rendered ffa>^6fi.ivoi by 
Sept. ; whence the word (rw^Sixivoi passed into the New Tes- 
tament, e.g. Acts ii. 47 : "The Lord was adding" (7rpocreTi06i) 
" daily tous (rcofo/x<=Vous to the Church," which is best explained 
by the use of the Hebrew word peleytah in the Old Testament. 
Cp. above, iv. 2 ; x. 20 ; below, xlv. 20 ; Ixvi. 19. 

— the zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this] Another 
prophetic watchword of Isaiah. See above, ix. 6, 7 ; and on 
2 Kings xix. 30, 31. 

33. arrow— shields'] The performance of this promise, that 
Sennacherib should not shoot an arrow against Jerusalem, nor 
come before it with shields, is celebrated in the Hymn of 
Victory which was composed at that time, perhaps by Hezekiah 
himself. See on xxxviii. 9. " There bnike He the arrows of 
the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle" (Ps. Ixxvi. 3. 
See below, on v. 36). 

35. I will defend this city] Cp. Hosca i. 7, foretelling this 

On the Place and Mannee in which the Aemt of 


36. Then the angel of the Loed] Christ. Micah v. 5. _ 

— When they arose in the morning] When the inhabitants 
of Jerusalem arose in the morning, and looked forth from the 
walls of the city, they saw the ground beneath them strewn 
with the corpses of their enemies ; as their forefathers, when 
they had passed through the Red Sea, saw the dead bodies of 
the Egyptians on the shore (E.xod. xiv. 30). In addition to 
what has already been said in the note on 2 Kings xix. 35; and 
above, on xxx. 33 ; xxxi. 3 ; xxxiii. 14, with regard to the cir- 
cumstances of this visitation upon the great army of the 
mightiest kingdom of the World at that time, it may be ob- 
served that Isaiah himself supplies some particulars which con- 
firm the opinion, already stated, that this terrible manifestation 
of Divine power and indignation on the proud and blasphemous 
eiiemy of God and His People, took place in the territory of 
Judah, and in the sight of Jerusalem. 

In xiv. 24, 25, we read, " The Lord of Hosts hath sworn 
. . . that I will break the Assyrian in My land, and upon My 
mountains tread him under foot : then shall his yoke depart from 
off them (My people), and his burden depart from oif their 
shoulders." We have good reason for believing, that this 
destruction took place in the Valley of Hinnom, on the south 
of Jerusalem (see xxx. 33 ; and on xxxi. 9) ; and that the 
spoil of the Assyrian army fell into the hands of Hezekiah and 
his people. See on xxxiii. 4. 23. Cp. xvii. 12 — 14. Besides, 
in the magnificent triumphal Psalm, which seems to have been 
composed on the occasion of that wonderful deliverance, per- 
liaps by Hezekiah himself, who was a writer of hymns (see 
xxxviii. 9), it is said that it was achieved at Jerusalem : — 

" In Judah is God known : 
His Name is great in Israel. 
In Salem also is His Tabernacle, 

And His dwelling place in Zion. 

There brake He the arrows of the bow, 

The shield, and the sword, and the battle. Selah. 

The stouthearted are spoiled, 

They have slept their sleep : 

And none of the men of might have found their hands. 

At Thy rebuke, God of Jacob, 

Both the chariot and horse are cast into a dead sleep. 

The Earth feared, and was still, 

Wlien God arose to judgment. 

To save all the meek of the Earth. Selah. 

Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee : 

The remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain (or, gird on 

Vow, and pay unto the Lord your God : 
Let all that be round about Him bring presents unto Him 

that ought to be feared. 
He shall cut off the spirit of princes : 
He is terrible to the kings of the Earth." 

(Ps. Ixxvi. 1—12). 

Further, we have seen reason to believe that the destruc- 
tion of this mighty host was suddenly effected by a hot 
pestilential wind, perhaps accompanied with lightning (as 
Vitringa, p. 331, and others suppose), scorching and blasting, 
as with a stream of brimstone, the army, of Assyria, when 
encamped on the hills, and in the Valley of Hinnom or Tophet, 
to the south of Jerusalem ; and that on the morning after 
it the ground was strewn with Assyrian corpses, burnt and 
blackened by its efi'ects ; and that therefore it served the purpose 
of inspiring a salutary awe in the minds of the inhabitants of 
Jerusalem who saw it, and of stimulating them to flee from the 
wrath to come by speedy repentance, and to escape the " ever- 
lasting burnings " of future punishment (see xxxiii. 14), and 
the torment of the " worm that dieth not, and the fire that is 
not quenched." See Ixvi. 24. 

It excited also other Nations to magnify the name of the 
God of Hezekiah, and to pay public homage to the Lord God 
of all the Earth, Whose name is at Jerusalem. See 2 Chron. 
xxxii. 23. Ps. Ix.xvi. 11 ; and above, on xxx. 30. 33 ; 
xxxiii. 4. 12. 14, in addition to the note on 2 Kings xix. 35. 

Probably there were many Egyptian and Ethiopian cap- 
tives in Sennacherib's army (see above, xx. 4) ; and many of 
them escaped, and returned home after the terrible catastrophe, 
and carried to Egypt and Ethiopia the tidings of the deliver- 
ance wrought for Jerusalem, and of the overthrow of her 
enemies ; and thus the Name of the Lord God of Israel was 
magnified in the sight of the nations. 

The Jewish historian, Josephus, having referred to Bero- 
sus, the Chaldean Annalist, thus wi'ites (Ant. x. i. 5) :— " When 
Sennacherib returned from his campaign against the Egyp- 
tians to Jerusalem, he found there the forces commanded by 
Rabshakeh. . . . And in the first night of the siege God 
visited his army with a pestilence, and 185,000 men, with 
their captains and chief officers, perished." Cp. 2 Chron. 
xxxii. 21. 

The narrative of Herodotus (ii. 141) is as follows, — he is 
speaking of Egypt : — " This King (an Ethiopian) was suc- 
ceeded on the throne by a priest of Hephcestus " (the God of 
Fire), " whose name was Sethon ; he treated the warrior-caste 
of Egypt with disdain, imagining that he should have no need 
of them, and deprived them of their estates. 

Assyrian army destrotjed. ISAIAH XXXVII. 37, 38. XXXVIII. 1. EezekiaWs sickness. 




^'^ So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and 
dwelt at Nineveh. ^^ And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house 
of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with 
the sword; and they escaped into the land of f Armenia : and Esar-haddon tHeb.^/-.//-,,*. 
his son reiffned in his stead. 

XXXVIII. ^ In ''those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. 

And Isaiah 11^^^^'"- '■ 

2 Chron. 32. 24. 

" Subsequently, however, the King of the Arabians and 
Assyrians, Sanacharibus (Sennacherib), invaded Egypt with a 
great army ; and the warrior-caste of Egypt was not willing to 
help the King to repel the invader. Hence the King was 
reduced to a great strait. Upon which he went to the temple, 
and there, in the presence of the image (of the god) he bewailed 
the calamities that were about to befall him ; and as he was 
making his doleful plaint, he had a dream, and the deity 
appeared to him, and encouraged him with an assurance that 
he should suffer no harm if he went to meet the army of the 
Arabians, and that he* himself would send succours to him, 
iohich would chastise the enemy. 

" Relying on this vision, the King took with him those 
Egyptians who were willing to follow him, and encamped at 
Pe/usium, where is the passage for armies into Egypt. No 
warriors went with him, but only shopkeepers and handi- 
craftsmen, and the vulgar sort ; and when he arrived there, 
the enemy was attacked by Jield mice, pouring in upon them 
by night, and devouring their quivers, and their bows, and the 
straps of their shields, and on the next day they fled, being 
without arms, and many of them were killed. And now there 
is in the temple of Hephcestus a marble statue of this King, 
holding in his hand a mouse; and he is represented, by an 
inscription, as saying, ' Let every one who looks on me learn to 
fesir God.' " 

The Hephaestus of the Egyptians was in their mythology 
called Pthah (as Professor Lepsius of Berlin informs me) ; and 
of him it is said, " Pthah, the god of fire, was more particularly 
the god of Memphis ; and the Kings in that city were said to 
be beloved of Pthah. His figure is bandaged like a mummy, 
and his head shaven like a priest " {Sharpe, Egypt. Mythol., 
p. 5 ; see also p. 60). 

In the above narrative of Herodotus (who received his 
accounts of Egyptian affairs from Egyptian Priests, biassed by 
national prepossessions ; see below, on Ezek. xxix.) there is 
much that is fabulous, blended with much that is true. 

It is not true, that the Assyrians were repulsed m their 
mvasion of Egypt. On the contrary, it is certain that Egypt 
was conquered by the Assyrians. This is affirmed by the extant 
Assyrian records, and by the express testimony of Holy Scripture. 
See above, on chap. xx. 

It is most probable, as already stated, that the army of 
Sennacherib was destroyed, not (as Herodotus says, relying on 
an Egyptian story, and as some modern writers of Jewish 
history have asserted) at Pelusium, on the north-east of Egypt, 
but near Jerusalem. Cp. Delitzsch, p. 369. 

It is not probable, that after the destruction of that army, 
and in consequence of it, Hezekiah would have been magnified 
in the sight of all nations, and that " many " would have 
" brought gifts unto the Loed to Jerusalem, and to Hezekiah, 
King of Judah," as is affirmed in Sacred History (2 Chron. 
xxxii. 23), unless the destruction of the Assyrian army had 
been locally connected with Jerusalem, and unless it had been 
notorious to other nations that it was effected by the Ood of 
Israel, who was worshipped at Jerusalem. 

The national pride of Egypt must have been severely 
wounded by their defeat, and by the shameful treatment they 
received from the Assyrians (see xx. 4) ; and it is probable 
that the Egyptians were desirous of wiping off that ignominious 
stain, by imputing the destruction of the Assyrian army to 
the prayers of an Egyptian king. They were well aware that 
they could not ascribe it to their own ai-ms. 

On the other hand, there appears to be some admixture of 
truth in the story recounted by Herodotus. 

The destruction of the army of Sennacherib, King of the 
Assyrians and Arabians, was due to prayer, — to the prayer of 
a King, — of a King in great distress, — of a King not aided by 
any warriors, — of a King going into the Temple of his God, 
and praying before Him there ; and it is true that the destruc- 
tion was wrought by a Ood of fire. It is also true, that this 
King stands conspicuous in Holy Scripture, as in a statue of 
imperishable marble, and that he utters these words : " Whoso- 
ever sees me, let him leam to fear God." 

That King was Hezekiah ; that Temple was at Jerusalem ; 
that God of fire was the Lord of hosts. Who consumed the host 
of As.syria by His breath, "as with a stream of brimstone" 
(xxx. 33), and scorched them in " the fire prepared " for them 
" in Tophet," in the Valley of Hinnom, on the south side of 
Jerusalem (xxx. 33). And by this fearful manifestation of His 
power and indignation against those who blasphemed Him, 
and of His mercy for Hezekiah, His faithful suppliant, and for 
Jerusalem, His beloved City, God made His saving Truth to 
be known, and His Holy Name to be adored by many Nations, 
and brought them from far and wide to magnify the Lord 
at Jeetjsalem, and presented to the eyes of posterity a pledge 
and a figure of the greater deliverance, which He would effect 
for the Church of God, — the spiritual Sion, by means of her 
Divine King, Jesus Cheist, the Conqueror of her ghostly 
Enemy, and of all impious and infidel Powers, — symbolized by 
the Assyrian invader. Cp. Micah v. 4— 9. 

The Egyptian story, related by Herodotus, records that 
the destruction of the Assyrian army was due to one of the 
least of creatures, the mouse ; and it says that this was com- 
memorated in the statue of the Egj-ptian king, erected in the 
temple of his fire-god, and holding a mouse in his hand. 

May not, perhaps, a truth be lurking even under this 
incident ? 

In the hieroglyphics of Egypt the figure of a Mouse sym- 
bolized a pestilence (Fuerst, Lexicon, p. 520, and p. 1046). 
" The field motcse was dedicated to certain dark deities, and its 
flesh consumed at sacrificial feasts." Cp. Varro, iii. 15 ; 
Plutarch, Sympos. iv. 5. 2. Isa. Ixvi. 17. " To propitiate such 
deities, in case of a pestilence, golden mice were presented " 
(1 Sam. vi. 4, 5. 11. 18). "The mouse is the hieroglyphical 
emblem of destruction, probably from its sudden and almost 
invisible ravages " ( Winer, R. W. B. i. 498). 

The fact that Sennacherib's army was cut off by a scorch- 
ing wind and pestilence, may have given rise to this repre- 
sentation of the King in the temple of a God of fire, holding a 
mouse in his hand, and saying, " He that looks on me, let him 
learn to fear God." 

37. and dwelt at Nineveh'\ These words imply that Senna- 
cherib himself survived the destruction of his army for some 
time. This reign is extended to twenty-three years by some, 
on the authority of the Assyrian inscriptions ; and if Sargon, 
his father, whom he succeeded, reigned seventeen years, though 
not without some opposition from rivals to the throne in his 
earlier years, as the same inscriptions seem to imply, then 
Sennacherib's death would not have taken place till bo. 680. 
The name of Sennacherib occurs in the list of the Assyrian 
Eponymi, in B.C. 685. Polyhi-stor, Abydemts, and the Astro- 
nomical Canon, do not extend his reign beyond B.C. 693 ; and 
Marcus v. Niebuhr places the accession of Esarhaddon in B.C. 
690 (Gesch. Assurs, p. 464). 

According to the Book of Tobit, Sennacherib, after his 
return to Nineveh, wi-eaked his vengeance on the Jews who 
dwelt in that capital (Tobit i. 18 — 21). 

Ch. XXXVIII.] For notes on this chapter, the reader is 
invited to refer to those on 2 Kings xx. 1 — 11. 

It has been already observed that Hezekiah, the lineal de- 
scendant of David, and the faitliful king of Jerusalem, was a 
signal type of Christ, the Divine Son of David, and the King of 
the Spiritual Jerusalem, the Universal Church ; and that this 
history of Hezekiah's " sickness unto death " (as it seemed to 
be, see v. 1), and of his marvellous restoration to health on the 
third day (see 2 Kings xx. 5. 8), as a reward for his faith, his 
pra^trs, and his tears {v. 16), and the extension of his life by 
fifteen years, accompanied with a miraculous going back of the 
sunlight on the dial of Ahaz — a miracle promulgated to foreign 
nations (see 2 Chron. xxxii. 31), and the contemporaneous pro- 
mise of the overthrow of his enemies, and of the deliverance of 
Jerusalem, was a foreshadowing of the Death and of the Resur- 
rection of Christ on the third day, and of the consequent over- 
throw of our ghostly enemies. Sin, Satan, and the Grave, and 
of the deliverance of the Spiritual Jerusalem from their power. 

llezeTciah's prayers and tears. ISAIAH XXXVIII. 2 — 12. His Psalm of tlianlsgiviiig. 

b 2 Sam. 17. 23. 
t Heb. Give 
charge concent ing 
thy house. 
c Neh. 13. 14. 

t Heb. v)ith 
great weeping. 

d ch 37. 35. 

e 2 Kings 20. 8, 


ch. 7. 11. 

+ Heb. degrees 
by, or, with the 

f Ps. 27. 13. 
IKi. 9. 

e Job 7. 6. 

|( Or, from the 

the prophet the son of Amoz came unto hmi, and said unto him, Thus saith 
the Lord, '' f Set thine house in order : for thou shalt die, and not hve. 

2 Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, 
^ And said, " Remember now, Lord, I beseech thee, how I have walked 
before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good 
in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept f sore. 

* Then came the word of the Lord to Isaiah, saying, ^ Go, and say to 
Hezekiah, Thus saith the Lord, the G-od of David thy father, I have heard 
thy pray,er, I have seen thy tears : behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen 
years. ^ And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of 
Assyria : and '^ I will defend this city. ^ And this shall be * a sign unto thee 
from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing that he hath spoken ; 
^ Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in 
the f sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten 
degrees, by which degrees it was gone down. 

^ The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick, and was 
recovered of his sickness : 
^^ I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave : 

I am deprived of the residue of my years. ^^ I said, I shall not see the 
Lord, even the Lord, ^in the land of the living : 

I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world. 
''•^ ^Mine age is departed, and is removed from me as a shepherd's tent : 

I have cut off like a weaver my life : he will cut me off || with pining sickness : 

See notes above, on 2 Kings xx. 5, 6. 11 ; and below, on Micah 
V. 4—7. 

There is another point of resemblance between the Type, 
Hezekiah, and the Divine Antitype, Jesus Christ. 

At the time of his illness Hezekiah had no child; and, 
doubtless, his sorrow for his approaching death was greater, 
because, in the event of his dissolution, the throne of David 
would be without an heir, and God's promises to David and his 
house, of an everlasting kingdom in the Messiah, from his seed — 
a promise which had been renewed to Hezekiah's father and 
predecessor Ahaz, with greater clearness and fulness by Isaiah, 
foretelling the birth of Immanuel from the Virgin of that 
house (above, vii. 13, 14), would seem to be frustrate and 

Hezekiah's joy and thankfulness to God for his own mira- 
culous resurreciion on the third day, and for the promise of 
extension of life to fifteen years, and of the victory and deliver- 
ance of his people in the third year ; and for the privilege 
of going up to the House of the Lord, to declare his thankful- 
ness to God, and to make it known to all his people, would be 
greater, for this reason among others, that it would be blended 
with and cheered by the hope of an heir to the throne of David, 
and of the accomplishment of God's promises in Christ, to him 
and to his people. 

After his recovery, Hezekiah married a wife, whose name 
was Hephzibah, which means, my delight is in her {Oesen. 
p. 296) J and this name is assigned by the Holy Spirit, speaking 
by Isaiah, to the Church of Christ, to whom he says, " For the 
Lord delighteth in thee ; . . . and as the Bridegroom rejoiceth 
over the Bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee " (Ixii. 4, 5) j 
where we may compare the words of Hezekiah's royal ancestor. 
King David, in the Psalm where he celebrates the victory of 
Clu-ist and the glory of His Church, " Upon thy right hand did 
stand the queen in gold of Ophir. Hearken, daughter, and 
consider, and incline thine ear ; forget also thine own people, 
and thy father's house; so shall the king greatly desire thy 
beauty" (Ps. xlv. 9). 

When Hezekiah had been " sick unto death," and when 
he was told that he must surely die, and when he arose as it 
were from the grave by a marvellous resurrection on the third 
day, then— but not till then — did he espouse to himself his 
Bride, Hephzibah {my delight is in her), the prophetic type of 
the Church. 

Here was a foreshadowing of the mystical union of Christ, 

the true King of Jerusalem, the Divine Hezekiah, with His 
Hephzibah, which owes all her life, and grace, and glory, to 
His Death, and Resurrection on the third day. Cp. above, on 
2 Kings XX. 21, and below, on chap. liv. Prelim. Note. 

Hezekiah's Psalm of Thanksgiving. 

Hezekiah here presents a further resemblance to David — 
his royal ancestor and pattern— as a Psalmist. Hezekiah re- 
stored the Psalmody of the Temple (2 Chron. xxix. 30) ; he 
also employed certain chosen persons to copy out Proverbs, or 
Parables, of Solomon, and to add them to the collection re- 
ceived into the Sacred Canon in the age of Solomon himself. See 
Prov. XXV. 1. 

The following Psalm is a Hymn of thanksgiving for the 
blessing vouchsafed to Hezekiah in his recovery from sickness. 
Psalm Ixxvi. appears to have been composed (perhaps by Heze- 
kiah) on the occasion of the deliverance of Jerusalem from the 
army of Assyria. See above. Prelim. Note to Ps. Ixxvi. 

10. I said'\ There ought to be a pause after this word; what 
follows, to V. 15, is what Hezekiah said in his sickness, before 
his recovery, which is celebrated in this Psalm. 

— in the cutting off of my days^ Or, in the quietness of 
my days {Oesen., Delitzsch, and others) ; in my prosperity 
{Fuerst) ; but perhaps the true sense is, in the silence (Heb. 
demi), torpor, lethargy, or inactivity of my days, when as yet I 
have done no good upon the earth, and have no heir to my 
throne. Cp. the use of the cognate word {domt) in Ixii. 6, 7. 

11. I shall — tcorld^ Rather, I, being ivith the inhabitants 
of the grave (lit., the place of ceasing to act, Oesen. 261, 262), 
shall behold man no more. 

12. Mine age— a shepherd's tenf] Rather, My home is de- 
parted and removed from me as a shepherd's tent. The body 
is compared to the migi'atory tent, or tabernacle of the nomad 
shepherd, which is soon struck, fokled up, and carried away sud- 
denly and entirely, and leaves no trace behind. The same figure 
is used in the New Testament, in some pathetic and cheering 
passages, as 2 Cor. v. 1. 4. 2 Pet. i. 13, 14. 

— I hare cut off like a weaver my life~\ I have cut it off 
like a web from the beam (see above, on Judg. xvi. 13, 14) ; I 
have abandoned all my hopes and plans for the future. 

— he ivill cut me off u-lth pining sickness^ Rather, He (God) 
will cut me off from the hanging thread — the thrum by which 
the web is joined to the beam {Oesen. 199; Fuerst, 329). 

Pious resolves in sickness ISAIAH XXXVIII. 13 — 17. are a 'path in health restored. 

From day even to night wilt thou make an end of me. 
^^ I reckoned till morning, that, as a lion, so will he break all my bones : 

From day even to night wilt thou make an end of me. 
^^ Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter : 

^ I did mourn as a dove : mine eyes fail with looMng upward : 

Lord, I am oppressed ; || undertake for me. 




heh. 59. 11. 
II Or, ease me. 

^^ What shall I say ? he hath both spoken unto me, and himself hath done it : 

I shall go softly all my years 'in the bitterness of my soul. ^^ Lord, by jo."^.''" ^^ 
these things men live. 

And in all these things is the life of my spirit : 

So wilt thou recover me, and make me to live. 
^7 Behold, II for peace I had great bitterness : le^lellme great 

But f thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption : ^'ueh'tLu hast 

-n 1 1 n • 1 1 ' T It 1 1 loved my soul 

For thou hast cast all my sms bemnd thy back. fromihepit. 

— From day even to nighf] By unremitting pain, which 
does its work of destruction in twenty-four hours. Cp. Job 
iv. 20. 

13. I reckoned till morning, that] I set myself (to bear it) 
till morning ; but then, instead of ease, the pain raged more 
violently, hke a lion ready to devour me. The word tliat is not 
in the original, and would be better omitted. 

14. Like a crane or a sivaUotv] Rather, liJce a swallow, a 
crane {Bochart, Vitringa, Delitzsch ; Ft(erst, 1011). Oesen. 
(581. 605) renders it, like a sivallow luheeling in a circle. 

15. What shall I say .?] Observe the sudden transition here 
from sorrow to joy ; his heart is so full that he cannot find words 
to express its emotion. 

— he hath both spoken unto me'] God Himself vouchsafed 
to answer my prayer by a special message delivered to me by 
His Prophet, whom He sent ; and now He has fulfilled that 
gracious promise to me by my recovery, which is a pledge to 
me and earnest of His other assurance of deliverance to me and 
my people from the arms of Assyria. See vv. 4—6, and more 
fully in 2 Kings xx. 4—6. 

— I shall go softly — soul] The verb here used (Heb. dadah), 
and rendered by go in our Version, occurs only in one other 
place in the Bible, in that remarkable passage where Hezekiah's 
royal ancestor, " the sweet Psalmist of Israel," when driven 
from Jerusalem by Absalom, in speaking of his own former 
happiness in walking up to the house of the Lord, and in lead- 
ing his people thither, " I went with them to the house of God, 
with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept 
holyday " (Ps. xlii. 4). This passage explains Hezekiah's words 
here ; he says, I will walk humbly, with the feeling and move- 
ment of religious awe, as in a solemn and sacred procession to 
the Temple, not only now when I am going to the House of the 
Lord on the third day to render public thanks for my recovery 
from the grave ; but I will do it all the days of my life— all 
my years ; and I will do this in the bitterness of my soul; or 
rather, I will do it as one walking over (Heb. al) the bitterness 
of his soul. That bitterness which I lately felt when I was lying 
on my sick-bed, on the brink of the grave, and when I seemed 
to be on my death -bed, shall be to me a continual path and pas- 
sage of religious meditation and continual thankfulness. The 
feeling of godly awe which I then had, shall not be a mere 
transitory emotion, but it shall be a fixed principle, and a per- 
manent habit of mind ; like a sacred bridge, over which I will 
ever be passing, — or, like a fair spiritual terrace which I 
will pace,— on my way to return perpetual thanks to God in 
His House for His love and mercy in my deliverance. Hence, 
adds Hezekiah here (n. 20), " The Lord was ready to save me : 
therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all 
the days of our life in the house of the Lord. 

The meaning of the Hebrew preposition al here used, and 
rendered in by our Translators, may be best illustrated by the 
words of the Psalmist, quoted by Vitringa, " This God is our 
God for ever and ever : He will be our Guide even over death," 
and through it. See above, on Ps. xlviii. 14. 

These words of Hezekiah are a beautiful pattern for all 
who have received a special blessing from God, especially in re- 
covery from dangerous sickness. The holy thoughts, and peni- 

tential prayers, and tears, and godly resolutions, and vows of 
repentance and amendment, which are then made by the sufferer 
on the sick-bed at the sight of Death, are too apt to disappear 
after recovery; but Hezekiah teaches that they are to be 
made an abiding principle— and to be a daily trodden path — in 
health restored. 

16. O Lord, by these things men live] Men live by Thy 
gracious words (see Ps. cxix. 27. 37), and by Thy merciful chas- 
tisements, which work for us faith, patience, hope, and glory. 
See Ps. cxix. 67. 71. 75 ; and 2 Cor. iv. 17. 

— So wilt thou recover me] Since this is Thy gracious deal- 
ing with men, so, in my own case, I feel and acknowledge that 
my true recovery, in soul as well as in body, is wrought by Thy 
chastisements, tempered with love. 

Before Hezekiah's sufferings, private and public, his faith 
had been comparatively feeble (see 2 Kings xviii. 14, 15) ; but 
they had the salutary effect of working for him a true recovery, 
spiritual as well as physical, and of procuring for him from 
God, not only the extension of his life for a few more years 
upon earth, but a glorious immortality in heaven. Well might 
he therefore say, " Thou wilt make me to live "—even by 
disease, distress, and death. 

17. Behold, for peace— bitterness] Rather, Behold, to 
health (redounds) bitterness to me; yea, I say, bitterness. 
The sentiment is the same as that of the Apostle, " All things 
work together for good to them that love God" (Rom. viii. 28); 
and, " Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh 
for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory " (2 Cor. 
iv. 17). 

Hezekiah utters the word bitterness (Heb. mar) twice; 
and says that this bitterness (like a wholesome though un- 
palatable medicine) was made conducive to his eternal health 
and peace. He repeats the word bitterness, perhaps because he 
had to taste the bitterness of a dotible sorrow,— namely, that of 
his own sickness unto death, and that of the danger and distress 
in which his people were involved by the Assyrian invasipn. 

How much more applicable even than to Hezekiah are 
these words now to the Christian, for whom the bitter waters 
of all Marahs are sweetened by the wood of Christ's Cross, and 
become Siloahs of salvation ; see on Exod. xv. 25. 

— pit of corruption] Pit of destruction ; literally, which 
swallows up every thing, but which is itself swallowed up into 
victory by Christ. See on xxv. 7, 8. 

all my sins] Especially my want of trust in Thee for 

protection (see 2 Kings xviii. 15, 16, and above, on xxxiii. 24), 
Still more appropriate are these words to the Christian Heze- 
kiahs who see their sins washed away by the Blood of Christ 
(1 John i. 7—9. Rev. vii. 14). 

behind thy back] Unrepented sins are described in Scrip- 
ture as being before the face of the Lord (Ps. cix. 14, 15. Jer. 
xvi. 17- Hosea vii. 2) ; but sins repented of by man, and par- 
doned by God, are represented as being cast behind His back ; 
and even as plunged into the depths of the sea (Micah vii. 19). 
Blessed, therefore, is true repentance; "Blessed js the man 
whose unrighteousness is forgiven, and whose sin is covered 
(Ps. xxxii. 1). 

He shows his wealth ISAIAH XXXVIII. 18—22. XXXIX. 1—3. to envoys from Babylon. 

k Ps. 6. 5. & 
30.9. & 88. 11. & 
115. 17. 
Eccles. 9. 10. 
1 Deut. 4. 9. & 
6. 7. 
Ps. 78. 3, 4. 

m 2 Kings 20. 7. 

n 2 Kings 20. 8. 

a 2 Kings 20. 
12, &c. 

b 2 Chron. 32. 31, 
II Or, spicery. 

11 Or, jewels. 

t Heb. vetsels, or, 


^^ For "^ the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee : 

They that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. 
'^ The Hving, the hving, he shall praise thee, as I do this day : 

' The father to the children shall make known thy truth. 
20 The Lord ivas ready to save me : 

Therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of 
our life 

In the house of the Lord. 

21 Yqj. m jgaiah had said, Let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a 
plaister upon the boil, and he shall recover. 

2- " Hezekiah also had said. What is the sign that I shall go up to the house 
of the Lord ? 

XXXIX. ^ At * that time Merodach-baladan, the son of Baladan, king of 
Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah : for he had heard that he 
had been sick, and was recovered. 

2 ^ And Hezekiah was glad of them, and shewed them the house of his 
II precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious 
ointment, and all the house of his || f armour, and all that was found in his 
treasures : there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that 
Hezekiah shewed them not. 

^ Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said unto him, 
What said these men ? and from whence came they unto thee ? 

And Hezekiah said. They are come from a far country unto me, even from 

18. tJie grave cannot praise thee'] Cp. Ps. vi. 5; xxx. 9; 
l-xxxviii. 10 — 12. Eccl. ix. 10. These words are not to be un- 
derstood as if they implied that there was no consciousness in 
the departed spirits of the righteous, and no communion of 
saints in Paradise with one another and with God. 

Such a notion is not to be imputed to the ancient Hebrew 
Saints (as Vitringa riglitly observes, p. 341) ; although it is not 
to be questioned that belief in these cheering truths was greatly 
strengthened by the Gospel, which shed new light on Life and 
Immortality (2 Tim. i. 10). But what such assertions declare 
is, that they who are removed from the light of this world 
cannot any longer enjoy the privilege of making God's Name 
known to the Nations of the Earth, as Hezekiah did, by public 
prayer and praise in God's House, and of thus advancing His 
glory, and winning many souls to God, and of saving them from 
eternal death bj' precept and by example. 

19. The father to the children shall make knotcn thy truth] 
Hezekiah at this time had no children ; Manasseh, his eldest 
son, was only twelve years old when he succeeded to the throne 
(2 Kings xxi. 1), and Hezekiah reigned fifteen years after his 
recovery from sickness (2 Kings xx. 6) ; but he had received a 
message of comfort from the " God of David, liis father," and 
was assured by Him that He would deliver Jerusalem for his 
servant David's sake (2 Kings xx. 5, 6) j and probably this 
message was accompanied by an assurance that the seed of 
David would be continued in him, his lineal successor; cer- 
tainly, in another prophecy given about the same time, mention 
was made to Hezekiah concerning his own sons. See xxxix. 7. 

May we not believe that the repentance of Manasseh (see 
2 Chron. xxxiii. 11 — 13) was quickened by a remembrance of the 
blessed fruits of the penitential tears and prayers of his father 
Hezekiah, and by this Psalm of penitence and praise ? 

20. The LoED was ready to save me] The words in italics 
would be better omitted. The sense is. The Loed is ever the 
liOrd to me ; and ever proves it, by saving me. 

21. 22. For Isaiah had said — Loed] It is alleged by some 
that these verses are misplaced, and ought to come after v. 6, 
because t'ney occupy that position in 2 Kings xx. 7. 

Surely this is precipitate and indiscriminating criticism. 
The MSS. and ancient Versions concur in authorizing the pre- 
sent arrangement of the Text. The reason of the variety of 
position may be ea.«ily explained. It was natural for Isaiah, in 

his modesty and loyalty, to retire into the background, and to 
give the prominent place to his sovereign's faith and thankful- 
ness ; and it was no less fitting for the Historian of the Kings 
to relate the circumstances in their regular order, and to assign 
to the Prophet his proper position in tlie narrative. Cp. Glass. 
Gramm. Sacr. iv. Tract xi. Ob. 29 ; and Vitringa here. 

This Resurrection of Hezekiah on the third day seems 
to be figurative of the Resurrection of the true King of Judah, 
the divine Hezekiah, Jesus Cheist, and of our Resurrection in 
Him ; and perhaps it is represented as such by the prophet 
Hosea (vi. 1 — 3), " Come, and let us return unto the Lord : . . . 
He hath smitten, and He will bind us up. After ttpo days will 
He revive us : in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall 
live in His sight. . . . His going forth is prepared as the morn- 
ing; and He shall come unto us as the Rain, as the latter 
and former Rain unto the earth." 

22. I shall go up to the house of the Loed] On the third 
day (see 2 Kings xx. 5). " On the third day thou shalt go up 
unto the house of the Lord ;" and see there, v. 8, " What shall 
be the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up 
into the house of the Lord the third dayl" 

Ch. xxxix.] For notes here, see 2 Kings xx. 12 — 19. 

The time of this embassy from the King of Babylon was 
doubtless subsequent to the delivery of Jerusalem from the 
Assyrian invasion. Merodach Baladan would not have sent 
to congratulate the King of a besieged city, and would not 
have incurred the wrath of Sennacherib and his army of more 
than 180,000 men. 

2. the silver, and the gold] How came it to pass, that 
after Hezekiah had given away all his silver and gold to 
Sennacherib (2 Kings xviii. 15, 16), he had such an abun- 
dance of silver and gold, and of other treasures to show to these 
ambassadors from Babylon ? 

This has been considered above, on 2 Kings xviii. 15. 

It may be added here that Hezekiah had in all probability 
obtained much silver, and gold, and other treasures from the 
camp of the Assyrian army, destroyed suddenly near Jeru- 
salem, when it was returning home to Nineveh, elated with 
its victories, and laden with the spoils of conquered countries, — 
Philistia, Arabia, Egypt, and Ethiopia. See the notes above, 
xvii. 14; xxx. 33; and xxxiii. 1. 23. 

Captivitij at Bahijlon foretold. ISAIAH XXXIX. 4 — 8. XL. 1. ComfoH ye My People. 




* Then said he, What have they seen in thine house ? 

And Hezekiah answered, All that is in mine house have they seen : there is 
nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them. 

^ Then said Isaiah to Hezekiah, Hear the word of the Lord of hosts : 
*'" Behold, the days come, '^ that all that is in thine house, and that which thy <= Jer. 20. 5. 
fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon : 
nothing shall be left, saith the Lord. ^ And of thy sons that shall issue from 
thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and || they shall be eunuchs [.["'f^l'^g j 
in the palace of the king of Babylon. 

^ Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, ** Good is the word of the Lord which thou ^ 1 sam. 3. is. 
hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my 

XL. ^ Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. 


7. thy sons'] A remarkable prophecy; for as yet Hezekiah 
had no issue. See above, on xxxviii. 19. 

Isaiah prophesied that the descendants of the good King 
Hezekiah would be " eunuchs in the palace of the King of 
Babylon." It is not improbable that by this means the pro- 
phecies of Isaiah himself were made known to some of those 
who ruled in Babylon. Perhaps they were thus made known 
to Cyrus by Daniel, who was of " the seed of the King" of Judah, 
and who, when taken captive, was committed to the care of 
"the prince of the eunuchs" at Babylon. See Dan. i. 1 — 11. 
Thus, under God's overruling providence, tho restoration of the 
Jews to their own land was brought about, and tho punishment 
was converted into a blessing. Cp. Dean Jackson on the Third 
Book. vi. chap. xxvi. 

Hezekiah and Isaiah. 

The Prophet Isaiah, in this historical narrative (xxxvi. — 
xxxix.), takes leave of Hezekiah at a time when that great and 
good King was betrayed into a temporary weakness, for which 
he received a stern rebuke from the Prophet. 

This is important to observe. 

In faith and courage, and in a noble public display of 
piety to God, in a corrupt age, after the evil days of an 
idolatrous father, Ahaz, and in times of great public danger and 
distress, and of severe bodily suffering, Hezekiah stands alone 
among all the Sovereigns of God's People. 

We can hardly be surprised that some of the Jews have 
attempted to show that the prophetic promises of the Messiah 
which Isaiah delivered (chaps, vii. ix.) were fulfilled in 

But Isaiah himself takes care to guard us against this erro- 
neous supposition — may we not say, providentially ? 

He presents Hezekiah before us as chargeable with pride 
and vain glory. As the historian relates, "his heart was lifted 
up : therefore there was wrath upon him and upon Judah and 
Jerusalem " (2 Chron. xxxii. 25) ; and he was reproved by Isaiah. 

From this we may infer — 

(1) That Isaiah was a faithful and courageous servant of 
the Lord. 

(2) That Hezekiah was not the Messiah of whom Isaiah 

Hezekiah was, indeed, as has been showoi, an eminent ii/pe 
of the Messiah ; and Hezekiah's history, as we have seen, is 
the basis and groundwork on which many of Isaiah's prophecies 
concerning the Messiah rest. 

But, as is the case with all the types of Christ, there were 
some blemishes in him, which rescue us from Judaizing error, 
and prevent us from confounding the human type with the 
Divine Antitype. And, as is also always the case with the 
human types of Christ, Hezekiah failed in certain moral re- 
spects, as to which there is no failure in the Divine Antitype, 
but, on the contrary, the clearest and noblest display of those 
virtues, namely, meekness, and self-abasement, and a single 
eye to the glory of God (John viii. 50), which are the opposites 
of that failure. Cp. note above, on Judg. xvi. 3. 30. 1 Kings xi., 
Prelim. Note. 

Second Geeat Portion of Isaiah's Prophecies. 

Peeliminaey Note to thb following Chaptees. 

Ch. XL.] The following chapters, beginning with the 
fortieth, and continued to the end of the Book, form a new 
scries of prophetic revelations of ths Holy Suirit, speaking by 

Vol. V. Part 1.-113 

Isaiah. In recent times it has been confidently asserted by 
some celebrated critics and historians, that this latter portion 
was not written by Isaiah, but by a person who lived two or 
three hundred years after his age. 

It is not necessary to enter on a minute refutation in detail 
of the objections that have been alleged by some (e. g. Koppe, 
Eichhorn, Doderlein, Justi, Faulus, Bauer, Bertholdt, De 
Wette, Rosenmiiller, Oesenins) in recent times against the 
genuineness and inspiration of this portion. This has been 
done by others (as Hensler, Piper, Beckhaus, Jahn, Dereser, 
Qreve, Moller, O. Midler, Kleinert, Hengstenberg, and 
Havernick, Keil), especially Dr. Budolf Slier, in the introduc- 
tion to his learned work, " lesaias, nicht Pseudo-Iesaias ;" Bar- 
men, 1850; and by Delitzsch, pp. 20—25, and pp. 385—390 of 
his Commentar, Leipzig, 1866. 

They have shown that the arguments drawn from sup- 
posed discrepancy of style are of no weight, and that there is 
an intimate connexion of imagery and language between the 
two portions of Isaiah's prophecies, namely, that which pre- 
cedes the fortieth chapter, and that which follows it. 

For the Christian reader, it will be enough to know that 
this latter portion is quoted as written by Isaiah, by the Apostles 
and Evangelists, in the New Testament. See below, on xl. 3. 
The writer is named Isaiah by them ; and yet he is now called 
" the great Unnamed " by some (e. g. JStvald, Stanley, Lect., 
p. 577). 

But after all, the allegations against it resolve themselves 
into a denial of the operations of the Holy Spirit, enduing the 
holy men of old, whom the Church of God reveres as Prophets, 
with the supernatural gift of foreseeing the future. 

This sceptical temper has found an expression in such 
words as the following : — 

" The latter portion of the Book which bears the name 
of Isaiah, and which begins with the Fortieth Chapter, is totally 
different in subject and character from the preceding part. 

"(1) In the preceding part, with some few exceptions, 
there is nothing that does not harmonize with the time in 
which Isaiah lived ; viz. the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and 
Hezekiah. But the following portion was evidently written 
by a person who lived in Judea after the destruction of Jeru- 
salem by the Chaldeans. For he does not foretell tliat calamity 
as future, but mourns over it as present. He seems to be sitting 
among the ruins of the desolate city and Temple. See Ixiv. 
9, 10. Cp. xliv. 26; xlv. 13; xlix. 19; lii. 9; Iviii. 12; Ixi. 3 ; 
Ixii. 4; Ixiii. 17-19. 

" (2) It is evident, also, that this portion of this Book is 
from the hand of one who saw the destruction of Babylon and 
the return of the Jews as events in the immediate future ; and 
it was one of his main designs to eulogize the prince (Cyrus), 
who enabled them to return and to restore their national 
affairs to their former flourishing condition " {Rosenmiiller, 
Procem. in Partem Tertiam Libri lesaiani, pp. 1, 2). 

It is deeply to be deplored, that such allegations as these 
should have been sanctioned by some celebrated writers in our 
own country (e. g. Stanley, " Lectures on the Jewish Church," 
Pt. ii. pp. 577—585). 

They who entertain such low and unworthy notions as these 
concerning Divine prophecy, will hardly be convinced by any 
power of human reasoning. Otherwise, they could not have 
failed to observe, that such allegations as these would, if pushed 
to their logical results, compel them to surrender the /orwer 
portion of Isaiah's prophecies as well as the latter, inasmuch lui 

Speak ye comfortably 


to Jerusalem. 





t Heb. to the 

heart. || Or, appointed time 

" Speak ye f comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, 
That her |j warfare is accomplished. 

\JhQ former portion contains no less distinct announcements and 
descriptions of the destruction of Babylon and of the restoration 
of Israel (chaps, xiii. xiv. 1 — 4). And not only so, but would 
require them to assign the prophecies of Isaiah to a time 
subsequent to the Christian era; because the sufferings of 
Christ are here represented (as S. Jerome says) with " the 
clearness of an Evangelist." 

Such critics as these are inaccessible to the force of argu- 
ment ; they must be illumined by the Holy Ghost, to Whose 
gracious influences they are to be commended by earnest prayer. 

We need not hesitate to aflBrm that it was morally im- 
possible that the prophecies of Isaiah should have ended with 
the sorrowful foresight of the Babylonish Captivity, at the 
close of the thirty-ninth chapter. 

The second portion, which opens at the fortieth chapter, 
and is continued to the end of the Book, was necessary, to 
justify the ways of God to man; and it accomplishes with 
perfect success this great and glorious purpose. 

Isaiah had seen the fulfihnent of his prophecies concerning 
the destruction of the invading army of Sennacherib ; and he 
had rejoiced with Hezekiah in that wonderful display of God's 
power and love, and in the manifestation of His glory, not only 
to Jerusalem, but also to other lands. 

But this joy of the Prophet was alloyed by an admixture 
of sorrow. 

After his recovery, Hezekiah had received an embassy of 
congratulation from Merodach Baladan, King of jBahylon, and 
had displayed all his treasures to the envoys of that Monarch. 

Isaiah the Prophet came to the King, and said, " Hear the 
word of the Lord of hosts: Behold, the days come that all 
that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up 
in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon : nothing 
shall be left, saith the Lord." 

The vision of the destruction of Jerusalem, the exile of 
its Princes and People at Babylon, was revealed to the Prophet, 
and the Prophet announced it to Hezekiah. 

What, therefore, was to be said ? Was the wonderful 
intervention of God in behalf of Jerusalem, and of its King 
Hezekiah, and its People, and the overthrow of the mighty 
host of their Assyrian enemies, a mere momentary ebullition 
of capricious and passionate aftection ? Was it a mere fitful 
lightning-flash of mu-aculous power ? Were all its effects to be 
frustrated in the ignominious subjugation of the Monarchy 
and People of Jerusalem by the power of Babylon, — a power 
which was inferior in glory to the great empire of Assyria ? 
Was the favoured Nation of God to become a spoil to the 
Chaldeans, whose ambassadors had come to Hezekiah to con- 
gratulate him on God's merciful intervention in his behalf ? 

These were questions which Hezekiah and his people might 
reasonably ask. They were questions which Isaiah himself 
might earnestly desire and pray to be enabled to answer, for 
the vindication of God's honour, and for the comfort of His 

An answer,— a complete and triumphant answer, — is given 
to them in the following portion of his prophecies, from the 
fortieth chapter to the end. 

The Prophet, as if he saw the fulfilment of the prediction 
of the thirty-ninth chapter, and as if he beheld Jerusalem 
already occupied by the armies of Babylon, making havoc of 
its Holy Place, and levelling its walls to the ground, and lead- 
ing its princes and people into Captivity, bursts forth in a noble 
strain of consolation to the afflicted Nation of God. The Lord 
Himself deigns to speak by his mouth : " Comfort ye, comfort 
ye My people, saith your God" (xl. 1). 

He foresees the destruction of Babylon itself by the armies 
of Cyrus, and the utter overthrow of the empire of Satan, who 
there lorded it over the Nations by a dominant idolatry (of 
which the huge image of gold, set up by the great king 
Nebuchadnezzar, in the plain of Dura, and to which all people 
were to do homage, on pain of being cast into the fiery furnace, 
was an apt specimen and exponent) ; and he beholds the con- 
sequent Restoration of the exiles of Judah to their own land. 
Nor was this all. Far beyond these happy events he sees a 
more glorious Victory; he sees a more blessed Emancipation 
and Restoration; he beholds the overthrow of the ghostly 
enemies of the true Israel of God ; he sees the prostration of 
all idolatrous powers which enslaved the world ; he sees these 
triumphs achieved by the Divine Cyrus, Jesus Cheist. See 
the notes above, on 2 Chron. xxxvi. 22, en " Cyrus as a type of 


In the march of the returning exiles, freed by the edict of 
Cyrus, through the desert from Babylon to Jerusalem, Isaiah 
catches a prophetic glimpse of the great Pioneer of the Gospel, 
John the Baptist, preparing the Way for the March of Christ, 
in Whom all God's people are summed up, as one Body under 
One Head. 

Observe how beautifully this latter portion of his prophecy 
is linked on to the foregoing one. The former portion had ended 
with the revelation of the preaching of John the Baptist, 
in the thirty-fifth chapter (». 8) : "A highway shall be there, 
and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness ;" and 
he there displayed a Vision of Christ, and of the blessed change 
which the Gospel would make in the world : " The wilderness 
and the solitary place shall be glad ; . . . and the desert shall 
rejoice and blossom as the rose" (xxxv. 1). 

He now takes up the thread of the prophecy where he had 
dropped it, and enlarges and beautifies that prophecy with 
fresh imagery, derived from the restoration of the Jews under 
Cyrus and his successors. See above, on xxxv. 10. 

In the rebuilding of the Temple by Zerubbabel and Jeshua, 
encouraged by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, and in the 
restoration of the walls of Jerusalem by Nehemiah, he beholds 
the erection of the True Temple of God, and the restoration 
of all true Israelites to the spiritual Zion, whose walls are 
indestructible. He sees this work accomplished by Him Who 
was typified by Zerubbabel, the Head of the house of David, 
the civil Leader of the returning exiles, and by Jeshua, the son 
of Josedech, the High Priest ; and Who is the Eternal King of 
the seed of David, and is also the Everlastmg High Priest, 
Christ Jesus, Wliose gracious work was also foreshadowed by 
that of Ezra the Helper, and of Nehemiah the Comforter ap- 
pointed of the Lord, as has been shown in the Introduction to 
the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah, and the Introduction to the 
Psalms, pp. viii. and ix. 

All the fifteen Psalms of Degrees, or Upgoings, which 
express the joy of the returning exiles (see on Ps. cxx., Prelim 
Note), and almost all the Psalms of the last two Books of the 
Psalter, and the greater part of the Books of Ezra and Nehe- 
miah, and all the Writings of those Prophets who flourished 
at or after the return from Babylon to Jerusalem, namely, 
Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, show that the Deliverance 
from Babylon, and the Restoration of the Temple and walls 
of Jerusalem, were indissolubly blended in the minds of the 
faithful with a far more blessed Deliverance and Restoration, 
namely, that which was to be inaugurated and accomplished 
by Christ's Advent into the world, and by His Epiphany, 
Ministry, Preaching, Miracles, Passion, Death, Resurrection, 
and Ascension, and by His Sending of the Holy Ghost, and by 
the foundation of the Church Universal, — a Church whose root 
was in Zion, and which is ever growing with living power, and 
receiving under its shade all Nations of the Earth, baptized 
into the mystical Body of Him Who is the Promised Seed of 
Abraham, and the Eternal King on the Throne of David, and 
Who reigns for ever in glory in the heavenly Jerusalem. 

Isaiah sees and describes the Messiah, despised, rejected, 
and crucified at Jerusalem ; he sees Jerusalem itself levelled in 
the dust by Roman armies for its guilt, as it was to be destroyed 
for its sins by the power of Babylon. And while he thus 
delivers a solemn warning to every age and country against 
unbelief and disobedience, he ministers comfort to all faithful 
and penitent Israelites in these and all other sorrows. He sees 
the Universal Church rising up on the ruins of the material 
Temple of Jerusalem. The Passion of Christ is declared to be 
the salvation of the World, and His path to Victory. The gift 
of the Holy Spirit, consequent on Christ's Death, Resurrection, 
and Ascension into Heaven, is poured out upon all Flesh ; and 
in process of time the Jews are received into the Church, and 
unite their voices with those of the Gentiles in the Hallelujah 
Chorus of heaven. 

Tliis Vision is consummated in Christ's Second Coming to 
judge the World, when all will be raised from their graves, and 
when all Enemies of God and His Church will be put under 
His feet, and when all faithful soldiers and servants of Christ 
will be rewarded with infinite bliss and unfailing glory in Hia 
heavenly kingdom (chaps. Ixv., Ixvi). 

This is an outline of the magnificent scheme of the pro- 
phecies of Isaiah, which now lie before us in the following 
chapters. Their connexion with the foregoing will manifest 
itself spontaneously to the reader, if he will bear in mind wJiat 

Her iniquity 


is pardoned 

That licr iniquity is pardoned : 

" For she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins. 


a See Job 42. 10. ch. 61. 7 

has been reveuled by God to Isaiah in the earlier portion of his 
prophecies, and what is hero fully developed, especially the 
pi-ediction of the birth of " Immanuel, God with us," from 
the Virgin of the House of David (vii. 14), Whose Name is 
*' called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlast- 
ing Father, the Prince of Peace, of the increase of Whose 
government and peace there shall be no end upon the throne 
of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it 
with judgment .and with justice, even for ever" (ix. 6, 7). And 
when these prophecies are com])arcd with other portions of 
Holy Scripture in the Old and New Testament, they will be 
seen to exhibit a panoramic view of God's dispensations of 
Judgment and of Mercy to the World, from the days of Isaiah, 
even to the end of time. 

Another important consideration may be submitted here 
to the reader, because it shows the mutual connexion of the 
two portions of the prophecies of Isaiah, viz. that portion which 
pi'ecedes chap, xl., and that portion which begins with chap, xl., 
and is continued to the end of the Book. 

In these two portions, respectively, two great Kings hold a 
prominent place, — 

In t\\Q first portion, Hezekiah. 
In the second portion. Gyrus. 
Both these Kings were signal types of Cheist. 
Hezekiah, as we have seen, is a type of Christ, in his name, 
and as lineally descended from David, and as King of Judah 
and Israel, and as prevailing by his faith, and prayers, and 
tears in his distress, and as delivering his people thereby from 
the armies of the great ungodly power of the World, Assyria, 
which was overthrown by God for his sake, and also as dying 
(in expectation), and as rising again on the third day, and as 
espousing to himself, after his Resurrection, Hephzibah (whose 
name means my delight is in her), — the type of the Church 
Universal, the beloved Bride of Christ. 

Hezekiah was a type of Christ in these respects. 
But something more was wanting to complete the pi'ophetic 

This was supplied by Cyrus and by his acts. The name 
Cyrus signifies Sun. Thus he was a figure of Christ, the " Sun 
of righteousness." He is called by God His Shepherd, and His 
Anointed (Isa. xliv. 28; xlv. 1). Thus also he was a type of 
Him, Who is the Good Shepherd, and the Messiah, or Christ, 
the Anointed of God. Cyrus ascribes his universal sway to 
God. He says, " All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Loed 
God of heaven given me " (2 Chron. xxxvi. 23. Ezra i. 2, 3). 
And thus also he is a figure of Him, Who said after His 
resurrection, "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in 
earth" (Matt, xxviii. 18). Cyrus took Babylon, and overthrew 
its empire, and restored God's people. And he issued " a pro- 
clamation throughout all his kingdom," declaring that the 
consequence of his victory and universal dominion was to be 
that at the command of God, to Whom he ascribes his power, 
he would " build the House of the Lord God at Jerusalem." 
He is the God, and that He will bring back " all His people " 
thither (Ezra i. 1—4). 

Thus in an eminent sense, Cyrus, the universal Monarch, 
the conqueror of Babylon, was a type of Christ, the Conqueror 
of Satan, the Builder up of the Church Universal, Who gave a 
commission to His Apostles to go and teach all Nations, and to 
bring back the scattered outcasts of all people to their one 
common home in the Spiritual Siou of His Church (Matt, 
xxviii. 19). 

Christ is not only the Offspring of David, the King of the 
Jews, but He is also the King of the Gentiles, as well as of the 
Jews— the Universal Sovereign of the World. Christ is re- 
presented by this composite type (if we may venture so to -.all 
it) of Hezekiah followed by Cyrus. And the adversarifj^ of 
God and His Church are symbolized by the two great empires — 
Assyria, with its capital, Nineveh ; and by Chaldea, with its 
capital, Babylon. The former of these is signalized in Scripture 
as an impious Power ; the second is characterized by idolatry. 

Christ is not only the Sovereign Who rescues His People 
from imminent dangers, and from tlie proud and blasphemous 
menaces of such infidel powers as Assyria; He is also the 
'.Jonqueror Who overthrows all idolatrous enemies of His Church, 
such as Babylon, and delivers her from bondage to them, and 
redeems and restores her to her home, in the presence and 
favour of God. Christ will conquer Antichrist in both these forms. 
Isaiah, in the first portion of his prophecies (viz. in 
those which precede chap, xl.), has displayed to us Christ, as 
foreshadowed by Hezekiah, and has passed from speaking of 

Hezekiah, to speak of Christ. In the second portion of his 
prophecies he proceeds to speak of Christ as prefigured by 
Cyrus ; and no sooner has he caught a glimpse of Cyrus and 
his conquests, and of the deliverance and restoration of Israel 
by him, than he proceeds at once to speak of Christ and His 
victories, and of the liberation and salvation of the World by 
His Divine power. 

From these considerations it is evident that the latter part 
of Isaiah's prophecies (viz. from chap. xl. to chap. Ixvi.) is 
(with reverence be it said) not only an appropriate addition, 
internally connected with the former part, but also is necessary 
to give completeness to the work of the Evangelical Prophet, 
and perfect the prophetical pictui-e of Christ, the Divine 
Cyrus, as well as the Divine Hezekiah — the King of the 
Heathen World, as well as of the Jews — "the Light to lighten 
the Gentiles," as well as the " glory of His people Israel." See 
xlii. 6 ; xlix. 5, 6. Luke ii. 32. 

There is a systematic structure and arrangement in the 
following prophecies. 

They form three parts. 

I. The first part extends to the end of chap, xlvili., and 
ends with these solemn words of warning : " There is no peace, 
saith the Lord, unto the wicked." See on xlviii. 22. It is a 
peculiar characteristic of this first part, that it speaks of 
Babylon (xliii. 14; xlvii. 1; xlviii. 14. 20); and of the 
Chaldeans (xliii. 14 ; xlvii. 1.5; xlviii. 14. 20) ; and of Cyrus, 
the deliverer of Israel from Babylon (xliv. 28 ; xlv. 1). Cp. 
the description of him (xli. 2. 25 ; xlvi. 11 ; xlviii. 14.) 

None of these names occur in the two following parts. 

II. The second part reaches from xlix. 1, to the end of 
chap. Ivii., and closes with a similar denunciation : " There is 
no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." 

On the characteristics of this part, see Prelim. Note to 
chap. xlix. 

III. The third part ends with the end of the Book, and with 
an expansion of that warning in the following words: "Their 
worm sliall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched ; and 
they shall be an abhorring unto allfiesh." 

On the characteristics of this part, see Prelim. Note to 
chap. Iviii. 

P^ach of these three parts consists of three times three. 

The nine addresses in the first part are as follows : — chaps, 
xl., xli., xlii.— xliii. 13, xliii. 14r— xliv. 5, xliv. 6—23, xliv. 24— 
xlv., xlvi., xlvii., xlviii. 

The nine addresses in the second are : — xlix., 1., li., lii. 
1—12, lii. 13— liii., liv., Iv., Ivi. 1—8, Ivi. 9— Ivii. 

The nine addresses in the third part are : — Iviii., lix., Ix., 
Ixi., Ixii., Ixiii. 1 — 6, Ixiii. 7 — Ixiv., Ixv., and Ixvi. 

The three distinctive characteristics of these three parts 
are briefly specified in these three opening sentences of the first 
part : (1) " her loarfare is accomplished," by the deliverance 
wrought by Cyrus, and by Christ : (2) " her iniquity is par- 
doned " through Christ's Deivth, chap. liii. ; and (3) " she hath 
received double (grace) for all her sins;" as set forth in the 
glorious revelations of the Church Universal in the third part. 
(Cp. Sahn). 

" Comfort ye, comfort ye My people," saith your God. 
" Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem," are the opening words 
of the following portion of this Book. They declare the primary 
desire and principal purpose of Almighty God, which express 
themselves here with a triple note of love. 

But, lest any should presume on God's goodness, and per- 
vert His grace into an occasion of sin, this triple note of mercy 
is followed by a triple note of judgment. 

Thus the Prophet Isaiah prepares the World for the last 
sentence of the Judge, Who will begin the transactions of the 
Great Day with loving accents : " Come, ye blessed of My 
Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the 
foundation of the tvorld," but will conclude them with those 
awful words, " Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting 
fire, prepared for the Devil and his Angels " (Matt. xxv. 
34. 41). 

The Retuen feom Babylon; and the Restoeation in 
Cheist announced by His Foeeeunnee John the 
Baptist — " Comfoet ye, comfoet ye My People." 

1. Comfort ye, comfort ye my people"] Comfort ye My captive 
people at Babylon (see Prelim. Note). It is not by chance that 
the Prophet repeats the word nachamu {comfort ye), from tlie 
Q 2 

The preaclmig of the Baptist, 

ISAIAH XL. 3 — 7. preparing the Way of the Lord. 

h Matt. 3 3. 
Mark 1. 3. 
Luke 3. 4. 
John 1. 23. 
c Mai. 3. 1. 
d Ps. 68. 4. 
ch. 49. 11. 
e ch. 45. 2. 
II Or, a strniykt 

II Or, a plain 

f Job 14. 2. 
Ps. 90. 5. & 
102. 11.1% 103. 1£ 
James 1. 10. 
1 Pet. 1. 24. 

p Ps. 103. Ifi. 

^ The Voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, 
"" Prepare ye the way of the Lord, 
^ Make straight in the desert a highway for our God ; 

Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low 
' And the crooked shall be made || straight, 
And the rough places || plain : 
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, 
And all flesh shall see it together : 
For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. 

The Voice said. Cry. 
And he said, What shall I cry ? 

^All flesh is grass. 
And all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field : 
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, 
Because ^ the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it : 
Surely the people is grass. 

Hebrew nacham, the root of the name Nehemiah [NecTiem- 
yah), who was specially raised up by the Lord to comfort the 
people in the Captivity. See above. Introduction to Nehemiah, 
pp. 295, 296; and note on Neh. i. 1 ; and also on Ps. exxi. 1. 

In a larger sense, this prophecy announces the message 
of comfort which was to be given to Jerusalem by John the 
Baptist, the forerunner of the Messiah, Who was Himself called 
the Menachem, or Comforter, by the Jews {Talmud, Sanhedrim, 
c. xi.) ; and was expected by the faithful, such as Simeon, who 
is described by the Evangelist as waiting for the consolation 
(TrapdK\7)aiv, Luke ii. 25 ; the Sept. here has irapaKaXfTre, 
"Comfort ye") of Israel. As S. Justin Martyr says (in his 
Dialogue with Tryphon the Jew, §§ 50, 51), " Isaiah here pro- 
phesies concerning John, the precursor of the Messiah ;" and 
he then quotes vv. 1 — 17 of this chapter, and interprets them in 
that sense. 

This chapter, to v. 26, was appointed by the Ancient He- 
brew Church to be read as a Proper Lesson, together with Deut. 
iii. 23.— vii. 11. 

2. Speak ye comfortably'] Speak ye comfortably to Jeru- 
salem, lit. to her heart. Cp. Gen. xxxiv. 3; 1. 21. Judg. 
xix. 3. Hos. ii. 16. 

— her warfare] Her forced service (Heb. fsaba), as in the 
hardships of a severe campaign. Such was Judah's condition 
at Babylon ; she was like a soldier and sentinel, compelled to 
keep watch (cp. Num. iv. 23. 30; viii. 21) on a dark winter's 
night, and to serve under the banner of a foe. Cp. Num. xxv. 
14. Job vii. 1. The editions of the Vulgate have a remarkable 
erratum here, " malitia " for " militia." Cp. below, on Luke 
XV. 8, " evertit " for " everrit." 

The announcement that her loarfare is accomplished, or 
rather, that her hard service is ended, is tantamount to a pro- 
clamation — like that of Cyrus — that she is freed from the 
bondage of Babylon by the overthrow of her enemies ; that the 
idols of Babylon' have been destroyed, and that the nation of 
God is restored to liberty, and to its own home. 

The addition of the words her iniquity is pardoned, show 
that this announcement has also a spiritual sense ; and that 
this prophecy reaches forward to the proclamation of the 
Jubilee of the Gospel ; of which the proclamation of freedom 
by Cyrus was a type. See also what follows. 

— is pardoned] Is condoned with free grace, and restora- 
tion to favour (cp. Levit. xxii. 27; xxiii. 11 ; and below, Ivi. 7). 
This is implied in the verb (ratsah) here used, which signifies 
to be well pleased (Qesen. 778). 

— double] Twice as much good as she deserved evil. Cp. 
Ixi. 7, and Rom. v. 20, " where sin abounded, grace did much 
more abound." 

The Voice or one crying in the Wilderness. 

3. The voice of him that crieth] A magnificent transition. 
By the repetition of ths verb cry from v. 1 (" Cry unto her, that 
her warfare is accomplished) ; and by its utterance here, " the 
voice of one crying in the wilderness " (see also v. 6, where it is 
again repeated), the edict of Cyrus is connected with the preach- 
ing of the Baptist. 

The cry of the foregoing verse is taken up here, and has a 
glorious response, in another cry. The cry in the foregoing 
verse found an utterance in the edict of Cyrus, speaking by his 
heralds throughout all his kingdom, and exhorting all the Jews 
in the name of God, to return aci-oss the desert from Babylon to 
Jerusalem. See 2 Chron. xxxvi. 22, 23. 

This is here echoed by Christ, speaking by the mouth of 
Sis herald, John the Baptist, and commanding all to prepare 
the Way, not now of Israel, guided by Moses from Egypt 
through the wilderness ; nor of Judah, marching under Zerub- 
babel from Babylon — but " Prepare ye the Way of the Lord, 
make straight in the desert a highway for our God " (see Matt, 
iii. 1 — 3. Mark iii. 4. Luke i. 3. John i. 23). The imagery of 
the Exodus from Egypt, and of the journeying through the 
Wilderness under Moses, is combined here, as usual, with that 
of the return from Babylon ; and both are treated as pre- 
paratory for the great return of Israel and the World to God in 
Christ. Cp. above, Introd. to the Psalms, pp. viii, ix. 

Thus also this second great portion of Isaiah's prophecies 
(viz. from ch. xl. to the end of the Book) is connected with the 
foregoing portion, which ended with an announcement of the 
preaching of John the Baptist, and of the Coming of Christ. 
See on xxxv. 10. Isaiah takes up his prophecy where he had 
left it, and that announcement is repeated here. 

Evangelical Testimony to the Genuineness of this 
Portion of Isaiah ; viz.. Chaps, xl. — Ixv. 

These words in v. 3 are ascribed to Isaiah by the Holy 
Spirit in Matt. iii. 3. Cp. Luke iii. 4 — 6. John i. 23. Chapter 
xlii. 1 — 4 is ascribed to Isaiah in Matt. xii. 17 — 24. Chap. liii. 
V. 1 is ascribed to Isaiah in John xii. 38, and Rom. x. 16 ; and 
liii. 4 is ascribed to Isaiah in Matt. viii. 17 ; and liii. 7, 8 is 
ascribed to Isaiah in Acts viii. 28. 30 ; and Ixi. 1, 2 is ascribed 
to Isaiah in Luke iv. 17. 

And yet, this explicit testimony of the Holy Ghost is calmly 
set aside, and we are confidently assured by some recent critics 
and historians that none of these chapters were written by 
Isaiah. See Prelim. Note to ch. xl., and Introd. pp. xvii — xxi. 
6. The voice said] Rather, A voice said ; it is not the voice 
of the Baptist ; it is a Divine voice, giving a commission to hinj 
to cry, and to declare the v.anity of all earthly things, and the 
everlasting duration and almighty power of the Word of God 
in the Gospel. Cp. 1 Pet. i. 23—25. 

The message may thus be paraphrased : all flesh is grass ; 
and fadeth like the flower of the field, because the Spirit of the 
Lord bloweth upon it ; therefore, if flesh is to live, it must be 
animated by the Spirit (cp. on 1 Cor. xv. 50) ; therefore the 
Word which "endureth for ever was made flesh" (John i. 14) 
by the operation of the Spirit, and God was " manifested in the 
flesh " (1 Tim. i!i. 16. 8. Jerome, Theodoret). 

The Word, which is here contrasted with the Voice, is (in 
the highest sense) the Eternal Word, Who became Incarnate 
for us, and Whose Advent was heralded by " the Voice of one 
crying in the wilderness," and Wlio animates the written Word, 
and speaks in it. Cp. below, on John i. 23, and on Matt. xi. 2. 
Luke i. 2. Hob. iv. 12. 1 Pet. i. 11. Rev. xix. 13. 

Evangelize, Zion 

ISAIAH XL. 8—11. 

The Lord God is your Shepherd. 


^ The grass withereth, the flower fadeth : 

But '' the Word of our God shall stand for ever. 
^ II Zion, that bringest good tidings, 

Get thee up into the high mountain ; 

II Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings. 

Lift up thy voice with strength ; 

Lift it up, be not afraid ; 

Say unto the cities of Judali, Behold your God ! 
Behold, the Lord God will come || with strong Jiaiid, 

And ' his arm shall rule for him : 

Behold, *" his reward is with him, 

And II his work before him. 

He shall ' feed his flock like a shepherd : 

He shall gather the lambs with his arm, 

And carry them in his bosom. 

And shall gently lead those j| that are with young. 





h John 12. 34. 

I Pet. 1. 25. 

II Or, O llioii thai 
tellest ffonit 
tidings to Zion, 
ch. 41. 27. & 

52. 7. 

II Or, thou that 
teltest good 
tidings to Jeru- 

II Or, against the 


i ch. 59. 16. 

kch. 62. II. 
Rev. 22. 12. 
!j Or, recompence 
for his work, 
ch. 49. 4. 
I ch. 49. 10. 
Ezek. 34. 23. & 
37. 24. 
John 10. 11. 
Heb. 13. 20. 
1 Pet. 2. 25. & 
5. 4. 

Rev. 7. 17. 
Or, that give suck. 

9. O Zion, that Iringest good tidings] In the return of the 
exiles from Babyloii, and in the rebuilding of the Temple, Zion 
is encouraged by the prophet, to see a vision of the Lord Him- 
self, Who would come in human flesh to that Temple. Cp. 
Haggai ii. 6—9. Mai. iii. 1—3. 

Here Zion itself — the mountain and citadel of David — the 
Mother of Christendom (see ii. 3)— is represented as endued 
with a living and growing power, and is exhorted to arise and 
get up into a high mountain (in ii. 2 she is " established on 
the top of the mountains, and is exalted above the hills) — and 
Jerusalem, the city of the Lord, is excited to lift up her voice. 
Zion and Jerusalem are exhorted by the Prophet to become 
Evangelists, and to proclaim His Coming, to the cities of 
Judah, and to say, " Behold your God J" 

It is to he regretted, that, in the sublime Oratorio " The 
Messiah," Handel has forsaken the renderings in the Text, and 
adopted those in the margin, and has thus lost the magnificent 
picture, which the Prophet presents, of Zion and of Jeru- 
salem—having been evangelized — becoming Evangelists to the 

It is observable, that the Hebrew verb here used twice, and 
rendered bring good tidings, is the piel of the verb basar, which 
is connected with the substantive basar, flesh (^Oesen. 146). It 
recurs in this connexion with the preaching of the Gospel, or 
good tidings, in Iii. 7 ; Ix. 6 ; Ixi. 1. Its true sense appears to 
be, to make a good thing manifest (cp. Fuerst, 145), to display 
it in a bodily form to the eye ; and thus it is very expressive of 
the preaching of the great doctrine of the Gospel, the Incarna- 
tion of the Son of God; " God was manifest in the flesh " (1 Tim. 
iii. 16). "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us" 
(John i. 14). 

Since " all flesh " (of man without the Spirit, see on 1 Cor. 
XV. 50) " is grass," therefore there was more need of the pub- 
lication of this doctrine, if the tidings brought by Zion were to 
be good and gladden the heart. Consequently, the message twice 
repeated is, " Behold your God ;" Behold, the Lord Jehovah 
will come." And it is because God was manifested in the flesh, 
that the flesh is endued with new powers, and is made a " par- 
taker of the Divine Nature " (3 Pet. i. 4) ; and the Prophet 
therefore says, that "sd\ flesh shall see the glory of the Lokd," 
V. 5 ; cp. Hi. 10, and Joel's prophecy, " I will pour out My 
Spirit on all flesh " (Joel ii. 28. Acts ii. 17, and S. Jerome). 

10. the Lord God will come] Heb., Adonai Jehovah ; a 
clear proof of the Godhead of the Messiah, Who is here called 
Jehovah and " your God ;" cp. xlviii. 17. Jer. xxiii. 6 ; xxxiii. 
16. Hos. i. 7. Zech. ii. 10, 11. Mai. iii. 1, where He is also 
called Jehovah. 

— will come] The Prophet couples the Second Advent with 
the First, as the Baptist did, in his first announcement of 
Christ. See Matt. iii. 12. 

— his ivorlc] Rather, his retribution (Lev. xix. 13; cp. 
below, Ixii. 11. Rev. xi. 18 : xxii. 12). 

The Shepheed op the Flock. 

11. He shall feed hisflocJc like a shepherd — and shall gently 


lead those that are tvith young] Rather, that give suck. God's 
People, wandering in the wilderness, on their way to Canaan, 
are compared to a flock. See Lxiii. 11; and Ps. Ixxvii. 20; 
Ixxviii. 52, 53 ; Ixxx. 1. And Cyrus, who brought God's scat- 
tered people out of Babylon and the East, that they might go 
home to Zion, is called God's Shepherd (xliv. 28) ; and the 
people are here comforted by the Prophet with the assurance 
that the work of Moses, and of Cyrus, was only a figurative 
foreshadowing of the far more gracious work of the Good Shep- 
herd (John X. 11), Jesus Christ (Cant. i. 7. Luke xii. 32. Rev. 
vii. 17), Who is here designated as the Lord Jehovah Himself 
(cp. Ps. xxiii. 1. Ezek. xxxiv. 23. Zech. xiii. 7), and Whose tender 
love for His sheep and lambs is here described. 

On the pastoral care of eastern shepherds, see Dr. Thorn- 
son, " The Land and the Book," pp. 203—206, 

Reteospect of vv. 1 — 11. 

The foregoing eleven verses are like a Synoptical Pko- 
LOGUE of the following portion of Isaiah (ch. xl. 12 to Ixvi). 
They comprise the whole, as in a germ, and are developed in 
successive repetitions and amplifications, in the following parts 
of the prophecy, till at length the whole scheme of God's provi- 
dential and gracious dealings with His people and the Church 
Universal— to be gathered from all Nations — is displayed ; and 
we are admitted to see the full and final victory of Christ, an<J 
to have a clear revelation of the bliss of the Church, glorified 
with Him for ever in heaven. 

This mode of exhibiting the sum and substance of a series 
of prophecies at the outset, and of afterwards displaying it in 
detail, in recapitulations, repetitions, and enlargements (like 
the successive Maps which follow the representation of hoth 
Hemispheres at the beginning of an Atlas), is characteristic of 
the prophetical Books of Holy Scripture. See below. Introduc- 
tion to the Book of Revelation, pp. 151, 152. 

The expansion of this Synoptical Prologue may be distri- 
buted into three parts. 

I. Prophecy of the deliverance of Judah from Babylon; 
the overthrow of Babylon, and the destruction of its idols, by a 
mighty conqueror, Cyrus, who restores the Jews to their own 

II. Prophecy of the deliverance of Mankind from the 
bondage of Sin and Satan ; the destruction of Satan's empire by 
a mighty Conqueror, Jesus Cueist, Very God and Very Man, 
Who restores both Jew and Gentile to the favour of God. 

III. Prophecy of His Birth, Preaching, Miracles, Suffer- 
ings, and Death ; the consequent rejection of the unbelieving 
Jews ; the outpouring of the Holy Spirit ; and the extension 
of God's favour to the Gentiles ; the preaching of the Gospel of 
Christ, Who is the Seed of Abraham and David, by the ministry 
of Apostles, who are Jews, and go forth from Jerusalem to all 
Nations, which are joined together by them in Christ's Church 
Universal, into which the Jews are to be received, and in 
which they are to be restored to God. The blessed fruits of the 
Gospel, the glory of the Church Triumphant, and the execution 
of God's judgments on the wicked. 

The Lord's Omnipotence. 

ISAIAH XL. 12—17. 

Mans insignificance. 





m Prov. 30. 4. 

t Heb. o tierce. 

n Job 21. 22. & 
36. 22, 23. 
Rom. 11. 34. 
1 Cor. 2. 16. 
+ Heb. man of 
h'n counsel. 
+ Heb. made hin 

t Heb. vvder- 
f landings I 

o Dan. 4. 35. 
p Ps. 62. 9. 

'2 '" Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, 

And meted out heaven with the span, 

And comprehended the dust of the earth in f a measure, 

And weighed the mountains in scales. 

And the hills in a balance ? 
13 n ^j^Q Y^r^^i^ directed the Spirit of the Lord, 

Or being f his counseller hath taught him ? 
'^ With whom took he counsel, and loho f instructed him. 

And taught him in the path of judgment, 

And taught him knowledge. 

And shewed to him the way of f understanding ? 
1^ Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket. 

And are counted as the small dust of the balance : 

Behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. 
^^ And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn. 

Nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. 
'^ All nations before him are as "nothing ; 

And P they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. 

The Editor of this Volume desires to acknowledge here the 
assistance he has received from some valuable remarks made 
on this subject in a manuscript communicated to him by the 
Sev. E. W. Relton, M.A., Vicar of Ealing. 

These three parts may be exhibited more in detail as fol- 
lows : — 

I. The second verse of the fortieth chapter announces the 
delivery from the bondage of Babylon ; this is expanded in xl. 
12 — 26, and again in xlii. 17, to the end of the chapter, into a 
declaration of the vanity of idols (worshipped at Babylon), and 
the infatuation of worshipping them ; and again in xli. 1, and 
xliii. 8 — 13 ; and again in xli. 21 — 24, and xliv. 6 — 20. 

The promise of deliverance to Judah is repeated xl. 27, and 
again in xliii. 1 — 7 ; and again more clearly in xli. 2 — 20, and 
xliii. 14 — 21, where the mode of deliverance, and person and 
acts of the Conqueror of Babylon are unfolded ; and again in 
xli. 25, 26, and xliv. 21— xlv. 21. 

The causes of the captivity of the Jews (viz. their idolatry 
and rebellion against God), and the promise of restoration, are 
displayed in Ivii. 1 — 21. 

II. The promise of a Conqueror who would deliver Israel 
from Babylon (viz. Cyrus, God's " Servant," God's " Shepherd," 
and God's " Anointed ") is developed by a beautiful process of 
spiritualization into a revelation of the Coming of Christ, the 
" Servant of the Lord," the " Shepherd," the " Anointed " of 
God (xlii. 1, 2, repeated in Ixi. 1), the Redeemer, who will 
come to Zion (xlvi. 12, 13), being pre-announced by John the 
Baptist calling to repentance (xl. 3 — 8) ; and Who will bring 
blessing to all true Israelites, and to all the seed of faithful 
Abraham among the Gentiles, as well as the Jews (lii. 7—10, 
repeated in lix. 18 — 21), and will pour out the Holy Spirit upon 
them (lix. 19). - 

III. The circumstances of Christ's Coming are clearly 
revealed ; His Nativity (Ix. 1, 2 taken up from vii. 14, 15, and 
ix. 6, 7); Epiphany (Ix. 3 — 6), \\\ih. a glorious anticipation of 
its blessed consequences in the ingathering of the Gentiles 
into His Church (Ix. 1—9) ; His Baptism and Preaching at 
Nazareth (Ixi. 1—3, a section taken up from ix. 1 — 6, which 
had described Him, the Preacher of the Gospel in Galilee, as no 
other than a mighty Conqueror and King, the mighty God, 
the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, and from xlii. 
1 — 16) ; the rejection of the Messiah by the Jews (Ixv. 1 — 4) ; 
His sufferings at their hands; the cause of His Death, and its 
blessed fruits (liii. 1 — 12) in the expiation and pardon of sin, 
and in the purchase of an Universal Church from all Nations 
by His Blood ; the preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles by 
the ministry of the Apostles and their successors (Ixi. 4 — 11) ; 
the joyful reception of it by the Gentiles (liv. 1 — 17) ; the 
moral temper and disposition required of all who are to be 
admitted into the Church of Christ (\\. 1—13 ; Ivi. 1—6) ; 
the great ingathering of the Gentile World into the Church 
(Ivi. 7, 8 ; Ix. 10—22); the lament for Israel's rejection (xlix. 
lij Ixiii. 7 — 19). Christ expostulates v/ith them for their 


rejection of Him (1. 1 — 9). He declares to them that He has 
received the Gentiles into grace (Ixv. 1, 2) ; and that the sins 
of the Jews were Uie cause of their rejection (Ixv. 3 — 10), 
The Jews are assured of favour if they repent (xlix. 15 — 17; 
Ixii. 1 — 5); they confe-ss their sin (Ixiv. 1 — ]2); the union 
of Israel with the Gentiles in one Church of Christ (Ixvi. 
10 — 23) ; the Resurrection (Ixvi. 14. Cp. xl. 31, the Ascension) ; 
the glory of the righteous (Ixv. 17—25 ; Ixvi. 22, 23) ; the 
General Resurrection and Universal Judgment upon the enemies 
of God (Ixvi. 24). 


12.] The prophet, having uttered this Peologtte, now 
ascends to a point anterior to that from which he had started, 
and places himself at Babylon ; and there, in the Name of God 
Himself, the God of Israel, makes a challenge to all Nations 
of the Earth, and to all false deities which were worshipped by 
them, especially at Babylon, — the seat and centre of Idolatry. 

Those earthly powers imagined that in the destruction of 
Jerusalem, the God of Jerusalem had been conquered, and that 
He was inferior to the idols whom they served. This feeling 
was signally displayed by the king and princes of Babylon in 
the drinking of wine out of the holy vessels, taken from the 
Temple of Jerusalem, and praising their gods of gold and silver, 
brass, iron, wood, and stone on that festal anniversary, when 
Babylon was taken by Cyrus (Dan. v. 4. 30, 31). 

The Prophet uttei's an indignant protest against this sup- 
position, and proclaims the attributes of the God of Israel as 
the Creator and Governor of the World ; and he exposes the 
vanity of idols, and the misery of all who worship them. 

— in a measure] Literally, the third (of an ephah). Cp. 
Ps.lxxx. 5 (G^e^ew. 828). 

— scales^ Or rather, a steelyard (Gesen. 677). 

13. Who hath directed — taught hini] Rather, tcho hath 
toeighed ? It is the same word as in the foregoing verse, where 
it is rendered meted. Who hath gauged the Spirit of the 
Lord ? Who hath weighed it ? Who hath fathomed it, so as 
to know it ? Cp. Prov. xvi. 2 ; xxi. 2, where the same verb, 
/cicaw, occurs; and Qesen. 864; and this rendering is adopted 
by the Sept., and by St. Paul (Rom. xi. 34. 1 Cor. ii. 16), 
where he follows the Sept. also in the second clause, " that he 
may instruct Him," which is a paraphrase, rather than a literal 

15. he taTceth up the isles as a very little thing'] As a grain 
of fine dust. Cp. xxix. 5. Lev. xvi. 12. Gesen. 205. Some 
render this. The isles are lilce dust, \hA.t flies away {Vitringa, 
Delifssch) ; but the version in the text is preferable. Cp. 
Ixiii. 9, where the same verb {natal) is used. See Gesen. 546; 
and Fuerst, 926. 

16. Lebanon] All the stately cedars of Lebanon are not 
sufficient to provide wood for His Altar (cp. Neh. x. 34; 
xiii. 31, on the " wood-offering ;") and all the beasts on it are 
not enough to supply a sacrifice for Him. Cp. Ps. 1. 10. 

God contrasted with idols. 

ISAIAH XL. 18—28. 

He has not forgotten Israel 



(1 ver. 25. 
ch. 46. 5. 
Acts 17. 29. 
r ch. 41. 6, 7. & 
44. 12, &c. 
Jer. 10. 3, &c. 

1 Heb. is poor oj 





t Ps. 19. I. 
Acts 14. 17. 
Rom. 1. 19, 20. 

II Or, Him that 
sitleth, %c. 

u Job 9. 8. 
Ps. 104. 2. 
ch. 42 5. & 
44. 24. & ,51. i; 
Jer. 10. 12. 
X Job 12. 21. 
Ps. 107.40. 

To whom then will ye "" iiken God ? 
Or what likeness will ye compare unto him ? 

' The workman melteth a graven image, 

And the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, 

And casteth silver chains. 

He that f is so impoverished that he hath no oblation 

Chooseth a tree that will not rot ; 

He seeketh unto him a cunning workman 'to prepare a graven image, that sch.41.7. 
shall not be moved. 
-' ' Have ye not known ? have ye not heard ? 

Hath it not been told you from the beginning ? 

Have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth ? 
^- II It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, 

And the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers ; 

That " stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain. 

And spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in : 
"^ That bringeth the "" princes to nothing ; 

He maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. 
^^ Yea, they shall not be planted ; 

Yea, they shall not be sown : 

Yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth : 

And he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, 

And the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. 
^ To whom then will ye liken me. 

Or shall I be equal ? 

Saith the Holy One. 

Lift up your eyes on high. 

And behold who hath created these things, 

That bringeth out their host by number : 

^He calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, 

For that he is strong in power ; 

Not one faileth. 
Why sayest thou, Jacob, and speakest, Israel, 

My way is hid from the Lord, 

And my judgment is passed over from my God ? 
Hast thou not known ? hast thou not heard. 

That the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, 

Fainteth not, neither is weary ? 

V ver. 18. 
beut. 4. 15, ttc. 

z Ps. 147. i. 

18. what likeness'] What image will ye set by His side, as 
His resemblance ? Cp. Deut. iv. 15, 16. 

The gods of Babylon are made by hands of men (vv. 19, 20), 
who are God's creatures, out of trees or metal, which are His 
work. How, therefore, can you imagine that they have 
power to overcome the God of Israel, or that they, who worship 
them, would have been enabled by them to overcome you, if ye 
had served Him, Whose peculiar people ye are ? 

20. that shall not be moved] Shall not shake on its pedestal. 
Such is the helplessness of the god, to whom they pray for aid. 
See Jer. x. 4, 5, where some of Isaiah's \vords here, and in 
xliv. 9 — 17, are repeated. 

21. Have ye not understood from the foundations of the 
earth?] Jiuther, have i/e not understood the foundations of the 
earth? (Sept., Vtdg.). Have ye not comprehended what they 
declare, namely, the power and wisdom of their Creator ? Cp. 
Ps. six. 1. Rom. i. 20. 

22. he that sitteth] He it is. Whom they proclaim. 
— a curtain] A thin transparent veil. 


24. he shall also How] Before they have taken root, if He 
only breathes upon them, they are withered. 

26. their host] The stars are God's army ; He knows all 
their names, and calls them over on His muster-roll ; and not 
one of them dares absent himself from the call. Cp. Ps. 
cxlvii. 4. 

27. WTiy sayest thou, O Jacob] If God thus counts all the 
stars, which are His heavenly army, and cares for them all, 
why, O man, for whom all those things were created, — and 
why, O Jacob, and O Israel (the still dearer name : see Gen. 
xxxii. 28), who hast been chosen by God out of all Nations, 
dost thou say that thy way is hid from God, and that He does 
not care for thee, wandering in thy exile, and that thy judg- 
ment {cause, or right) is passed over, and neglected by Him ? 
Cp. below, xlix. 4. 14, 15 (where judgment is used in the same 
sense) ; liv. 17 ; and St. Paul's argument (Rom. xi. 1, 2). 

This section, from v. 27 to xli. 16, is appointed by the 
Hebrew Church to be read in the Synagogues with Gen. xii. 1 
— xvii. 27, which narrates the history of Abraham. 

Restoration of the faithful . ISAIAH XL. 29— 31. XLI. 1, 2. God raises up righteousness. 





a Ps. 147. 5. 

Rom. 11.33. 

b Ps. 103. 5. 
t Heb. change. 

a Zech. 2. 13. 

t Heb. riyht- 
b ch. 46. II. 

* There is no searching of his unclei'standing. 
^^ He giveth power to the faint ; 

And to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 
^° Even the youths shall faint and be weary, 

And the young men shall utterly fall : 
^^ But they that wait upon the Lord ^ shall f renew tlteir strength ; 

They shall mount up with wings as eagles ; 

They shall run, and not be weary ; 

And they shall walk, and not faint. 
XLI. ^ ^ Keep silence before me, islands ; 

And let the people renew their strength : 

Let them come near ; then let them speak : 

Let us come near together to judgment. 
^ Who raised up f the righteous man ''from the east. 

31. they that wait upon the Loed] Therefore, though Israel 
be led captive to Babylon, aud seem to be dead, yet if they have 
faith iu the Lord, they shall revive. See Ezek. xxxvii. 1 — 14. 

— shall mount up with tvings as eagles'] This imagery 
(the mouutiiig-up of eagles) is continued throughout Scripture, 
from the time of the Exodus from Egypt to the day of the 
Ascension of Christ, Who is called in Holy Scripture " the 
Great Eagle " (see Rev. xii. 14), and to the future springing 
up of the risen bodies of the Saints, with their strength re- 
newed, like eagles after moulting their plumes (Micali i. 16), 
and with glorified bodies caught up in the clouds to meet the 
Lord in the air. See on Exod. xix. 4. Deut. xxxii. 11. Ps. 
ciii. 5. Prov. xxx. 19; on Matt. xxiv. 28. Luke xvii. 37. 
1 Thess. iv. 16, 17. 2 Thess. ii. 1 ; and S. Jerome here. 

The Loed's Appeal. 

Ch. XLI.] Who enables Cyrus to achieve bis conquests? 
And Who sends forth Christ into the world ? ^Vbo gives the 
Holy Spirit to men ? Wbo plants the Church Universal ? 
(yv. 13— 20.) — Jehovah, the Lord God of Israel. 

1. islands'] Not only lands surrounded by water, but penin- 
sulas, and all maritime countries. See on Gen. x. 5. Cp. 
above, xxiv. 15 ; xl. 15 ; below, xlii. 4. 10. 15 ; xlix. 1. 

This section, to v. 22, was appointed by the Hebrew 
Church to be read together with Deut. xxvi. 1 ; — xxix. 8, 
declaring God's goodness to Israel, and His blessings on obedi- 
ence, and His curses for disobedience. 

— let the people reneio their strength] Literally, let the 
peoples, or nations, renew all their strength for an encounter 
with Me. He repeats the words used at the close of the fore- 
going chapter (v. 31). God renews the strength of His saints ; 
He raises them from the dust. Let the Nations of the Earth 
renew their own strength — if they can. 

Connexion of these Peophetic Addeesses by 

It has not, I think, been noticed that the addresses in this 
portion of Isaiah are connected by catchwords ; that is to say, 
some leading word at the end of one address is taken up at 
the beginning of the following address, which is thus linked on 
to the foregoing one. 

This is the same principle of connexion as that which 
characterizes the Book of Psalms. See above, Introd. to the 
Psalms, p. iv ; and on Ps. iii. 1 ; and v. 1. It shows the accurate 
exactitude with which these prophecies are joined together. 

Tlius, for example, in this portion of' Isaiah : — 

(1) In xl. V. 31, the phrase "renew their strength" at 
the end of this first address is repeated at the heginning of 
the second address (xli. 1) ; and thus these two addresses are 
riveted together. 

(2) Again, the word Ireath (Heb. ruach), at the end of 
the second address, is taken up and repeated at the beginning 
of the third address, and forms thereby a striking connexion 
and contrast. See note on xlii. 1. 

(3) Again, the words, Israel and Jacob, "it set him on 
fire," and " it burned him," at the end of the third address 
(xlii. 25), are taken up and repeated at the beginning of the 
fourth address (xliii. 1, 2) : " O Jacob . . . Israel . . . when 
tliou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned." 


(4) Again, the words at the end of the fourth address, 
" I have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches," 
are followed by the Consolation, at the beginning of the fifth 
address : " Yet now hear, O Jacob, My servant, and Israel, 
whom I have chosen." 

(5) Again, the words at the end of the fifth address, " That 
saith of Ci/rus, He is my Shepherd," are taken up at the 
beginning of the sixth address : " Thus saith the Lord to His 
Anointed, to Cgrus." 

(6) Again, the divine declaration, " 1 have sworn by 
Myself, unto Me every knee shall boiv, every tongue shall swear," 
at the close of the sixth address, is followed by the striking 
exemplification of its truth at the beginning of the seventh 
address : " Bel botveth doion . . . Nebo stoopeth. They stoop, 
they boio down together." 

(7) This divine declaration is further confirmed by the 
beginning of the eighth address : " Come down, and sit in the 
dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground." 

(8) Also the words, " Every tongue shall swear. Surely, 
shall one say. In the Lord have I rigliteousuess and strength," 
which is the second clause of that divine declaration, " I have 
sworn by Myself, the word is gone out of My mouth in right- 
eousness," are taken up at the beginning of the ninth address : 
" Hear ye this, which swear by the Name of the Lord, but 
not in righteousness." 

Thus all these nine addresses are connected together. 
2. JFho raised up the righteous man from the east] Lite- 
rally, Who raised up righteousness from the East 1 TFho 
raised up Cyrus, the minister of God's righteousness, in punish- 
ing aud overthrowing Babylon and its idols, and iu delivering 
and restoring His people ? Cp. here v. 10, where God says, 
that He will uphold Israel with the right hand of His right- 
eousness, and (.xlv. 13) where Cyrus is declared to have been 
raised up in righteousness. The abstract term {righteousness) 
is put for the concrete. God's righteousness, is what the pro- 
phet sees in Cyrus ; and this sublime abstraction represents 
the great Conqueror of the East as an instrumeiit in God's 
hands. It is God's righteousness in Cyrus wbich does the work 
of retribution on Babylon, and accomplishes the deliverance 
and restoration of Israel. As in the title and Book of Eccle- 
siastes, the abstract word Koheleih (i.e. fne female gatherer) 
is used to express the wisdom of God gathering together by 
means of Solomon (see Eccl. i. 1), so here, the word tsedek 
is employed to express Ood's righteousness acting in Cyrus. 

Isaiah here uses the verb ur, in the hiphU, which is also 
applied to Cyrus, in 2 Chron. xxxvi. 22: " The Lord stirred 
up, or raised up the spirit of Cyrus ;" and also in Ezra i. 1 ; 
and also below, v. 25 : "I have raised up one from the north ;" 
and also in xlv. 13 ; and xiii. 17 ; and Jer. 1. 9 ; and li. 1. 

We need not be surprised that many ancient interpreters 
(as S. Cyril, and S. Jerome) saw here a prophecy of Cheist, — 
" the Lord our Highteousness ." Cyrus, whose name signifies 
Sun, in many signal respects was a type of Christ, — the " Sun 
of Righteousness " (Mai. iv. 2 ; see above, on 2 Chron. xxxvi. 22, 
and Prelim. Note to chap, xl.) ; and his coming from the East 
to overthrow Babylon, by means of the drying up of the waters 
of the Euphrates, supplied to St. John, in the Apocalypse, 
the imagery by which he foretells the retributary work of 

iVho called Cyrus, and who 

ISAIAH XLI. 3 -12. 

strengthened him for Israel's sake? 

Called him to his foot, 

*" Gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings ? 

He gave them as the dust to his sword, 

And as driven stubble to his bow ; 
^ He pursued them, and passed f safely ; 

Eveji by the way that he had not gone with his feet. 
'^ '^ Who hath wrought and done it, 

Calling the generations from the beginning ? 

I the Lord, the ^ first, and with the last ; 

I am he. 

^ The isles saw it, and feared ; 

The ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and came ; 
^ ' They helped every one his neighbour ; 

And every one said to his brother, f Be of good courage ; 
7 ^ So the carpenter encouraged the || goldsmith. 

And he that smootheth with the hammer || him that smote the anvil, 

II Saying, It is ready for the sodering : 

And he fastened it with nails, '' that it should not be moved. 
^ But thou, Israel, art my servant, 

Jacob whom I have ' chosen, 

The seed of Abraham my "^ friend. 
^ Tliou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth. 

And called thee from the chief men thereof. 

And said unto thee. Thou art my servant ; 

I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. 
^^ ' Fear thou not ; " for I am with thee : 

Be not dismayed ; for I am thy God : 

I will strengthen thee ; yea, I will help thee ; 

Yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 
'^ Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be " ashamed 
confounded : 

They shall be as nothing ; 

And f they that strive with thee shall perish ; 
^- Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, 

Even f them that contended with thee : 

t They that war against thee shall be as nothing. 

c See Gen. 14. 
14, &c. 
ver. 25. 
ch. 45. 1. 

t Heb. in pence. 

d ver. 26. 
ch. 44. 7. & 
4G. 10. 

c ch. 43. 10. & 
•H. 6. & 4S. 12. 
liev. 1. 17. & 
22. 13. 

f ch. 40. 19. & 

44. 12. 

t Heb. Be strong. 

g ch. 40. 19. 
II Ot, founder. 

II Or, the smiting 

II Or, saying <f 

the soder, It i. 


h ch. 40. 20. 

I Deut. 7. 6. & 
10. 15, & H. 2. 
Ps. 135. 4. 
ch. 4.). 1. &44. 1, 
k 2 Chroii. 20. 7. 
Juiucs 2. 23. 

I ver. 13, 14. 

ch. 43. 5. 

m Deut. 31. 6, 8. 

Q-nrJ n E.xod. 23. 22. 
«*^^ ch. 45. 24. & 

60. 12. 

Zech. 12. 3. 

t Ileb. the men 
of thy strife. 

t Heb. the men «/ 
tiiy contention. 
t Heb. the men 
of thy war. 

Christ, and "the Kings of the East" {or, from the sunrising), 
that is, the preachers of the Kingdom of Christ, who conic 
from Him Who is " the Sun of Righteousness, rising with 
hcahng on His wings," in their spiritual campaign against the 
mystical Babylon. See the notes below, on that mysterious 
prophecy (llev. xvi. 12). The analogies between the work of 
Cyrus and of Christ, in destroying error, and diffusing light, 
and liberating God's people from bondage, are enlarged upon 
in the notes on that passage, which may serve as a commentary 
on the present and other places of Isaiah, referring to the 
person and office of Cyrus. It will be found, that whenever 
Isaiah has made mention of Cyrus, he almost always proceeds 
to speak of Christ. He is irresistibly borne along by the 
Spirit from the human type to the Divine Antitype. 

— Called him to his foot~\ Called him (Cyrus, the great 
King, the minister of His righteousness) to His foot, as His 
humble vassal and follower. Cp. Ps. L\. 8. Matt. iii. 11. 
Mark i. 7. 

— Gave the nations before him"] Cyrus himself confesses that 
the kingdoms of the earth were given him by God. See 
2 Chron. xxxvi. 23. Ezra i. 2 

Vol. V. Part 1.— 121 

Cyrus, the Minister of Jehovah, an object of feae 
TO THE Worshippers of Idols. 

5. The isles'] Rather, maritime countries. See above on 
V. 1, such as Ionia, .iEolia, Caria, Lydia, Phi-ygia, who, as the 
Cumseans, confessed that they feared the name of Cyrus. See 
Herod, i. 159. 

6. They helped] Nations, before divided, associated in league 
against Cyrus, and they paid fresh homage to idols, whose aid 
they invoked against the Conqueror — but in vain. 

7. the carpenter] Literally, graver, one who cuts; an arti- 
ficer of metal, stone, or wood {Gesen. 309). 

— not he moved] The irony of xl. 20 reappears here. 

8. But thou, Israel, art my servant] Those nations are wor- 
shippers of stocks and stones, therefore I will give them into 
the hands of Cyrus (who was not a \ idolater, and was appointed 
by God to chastise idolaters : see the remarks of Dean Jackson 
on the Creed, book vi. pt. ii. ch. xxvi.). Cyrus, who is My ser- 
vant, will subdue them, and overthrow their temples, and deliver 
thee, O Israel, and restore My Temple at Jerusalem. 

10. Be riot dismayed^ Look not anxii isly around for help 
from others than Me. See v. 23. 


Fear not, Israel. 

ISAIAH XLI. 13 — 21. Blessings to Israel in the Gospel, 



II Oi, few men. 

p Micah 4. 13. 
•2 Cor. 10. 4, 5. 
t Heb. mout/is. 

q Jar. 51. 

r ch 4j. 25. 

9 ch. 35. 6, 7. & 
43. la. & 44. 3. 

t Ps. 107. 35. 

And as a thing of nought. 
13 j^or I the LoED thy God will hold thy right hand, 

Saying unto thee, ° Fear not ; I will help thee ; 
^^ Fear not, thou worm Jacob, 

And ye [| men of Israel ; I will help thee, saith the Lord, 

And thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. 
^^ Behold, P I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having f teeth : 

Thou slialt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, 

And shalt make the hills as chaff ; 
^^ Thou shalt "^ fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, 

And the whirlwind shall scatter them : 

And thou shalt rejoice in the Lord, 

And 'shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel. 

When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, 

And their tongue faileth for thirst, 

I the Lord will hear them, 

/ the God of Israel will not forsake them. 

I will open ' rivers in high places. 

And fountains in the midst of the valleys : 

I will make the ' wilderness a pool of water. 

And the dry land springs of water. 

I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and 
the oil tree ; 

I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together : 
"^ " That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together. 

That the hand of the Lord hath done this, 

And the Holy One of Israel hath created it. 




+ Heb. Cause io 21 
come near. 

f Produce your cause, saith the Lord ; 
Bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. 

14. tTiou ivorm Jacoi~\ However weak and despised, and 
trodden under foot thou mayest be, in thy captivity and exile, 
yet fear not ; I will help thee. Cp. Ps. xxii. 6, where the Mes- 
siah in His humiliation describes Himself as " a worm, and no 
man ;" and see Luke xii. 32. 

— men of Israel] Few men and feeble, Heb. methim. Cp. 
Gen. xxxiv. 30. Deut. iv. 27. Gesen. 521. 

— thy redeemer] By this word Redeemer (Heb. Goel, on 
which see Job xix. 25) we are prepared for the transition to the 
spiritual victories to be achieved by Israel, led on by Cheist, to 
fight against His'ghostly enemies and all godless powers of this 
world ; see what follows. 

The triumphs of Zion, through Cheist, over the 
Peoud; His gracious Gifts to the Humble. 

15.] / tvill make thee to be a neio sharp threshing roller 
having two edges {Gesen. 673), thou shalt thresh the moun- 
tains ; such will be thy power, when I, thy Redeemer, the 
Holy One of Israel, am come to thee, saith the Lord. 

These words are to be understood as spoken by the King of 
Zion, the Messiah, Whose Advent and Victory over all proud 
earthly Powers are compared to the triumph of the mighty 
Conqueror of Babylon, Cyrus, raised up by God from the East, 
and to whom God gave the nations, and made him rule over 
kings ; see v. 2, and cp. v. 25. Compare the similar prophecy 
of Micah (iv. 13), which is followed immediately by the an- 
nouncement of Christ's Birth (v. 1, 2). Cp. Sfier, p. 65. 

In a spiritual sense (which is suggested by what follows), 

this prophecy (which is further explained and enlarged in the 

following chapter; see xlii. 13 — 15) is fulfilled in the triumphs 

of Christ in the Gospel, beating small into chaff the mountains, 


that is, all the lofty pride and stubborn power of this world that 
opposes God. Compare 2 Cor. x. 4, 5 : " The weapons of our 
warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling 
down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every 
high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God" 
{S. Jerome, S. Cyril, Theodoret). 

This prophecy will have its full accomplishment at the 
Great Day, when Christ, the King of the true Israel of God, 
" Wliose fan is in His hand, will throughly purge His floor and 
gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff 
with unquenchable fire " (Matt. iii. 12). 

17. When the poor and needy seek water] As of old, in the 
wilderness — I will make it gush from the rock (see Exod. xvii. 
6) — I will make the living waters of the Holy Spirit to gush 
out of the Rock in the Wilderness of Heathendom. 

18. 1 10 ill open rivers in high places — the loilderness a pool 
of water] By the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit on all nations 
(xxx. 25 ; XXXV. 6 ; xliv. 3). 

19. shittah] Acacia (see above, on Exod. xxv. 5 ; xxvi. 15). 
The present is the only passage where the word occurs in the 
singular number (sJdttah), in all other places it is in the plural 

— the fir] The cypress. 

— the pine, and the box tree] Cp. Ix. 13, the plane tree (or 
elni) and the sherhin (or tall cedar). Gesen. 855 ; Fuerst, 
1456. 1459. 

Second Appeal of the Lord. Who can foretell the 
Future ? Who can Kill, and who can make Alive ? 

— NOT Idols, but God only, the God of Israel. 

21. your strong reasons] Literally, your strongholds, in 
which you trust. Cp. 2 Cor. x. 4. 

W ho foretold a ltd sent Cyrus ? I^AIAUXLI. 22— 29. XLII. 1. ''Behold My Servant.' 

^- "Let them bring them forth, and shew lis what shall happen : 

Let them shew the former things, what they be, 

That we may f consider them, and know the latter end of them ; 

Or declare us things for to come. 
-^ ^ Shew the things that are to come hereafter, 

That we may know that ye are gods : 

Yea, ^ do good, or do evil. 

That we may be dismayed, and behold it together. 
-■* Behold, "^ ye are || of nothing, and your work || of nought : 

An abomination is he that chooseth you. 
^^ I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come : 

From the rising of the sun ** shall he call upon my name : 

•^ And he shall come upon princes as upon morter, 

And as the potter treadeth clay. 

•^ Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know ? 

And beforetime, that we may say, He is righteous ? 

Yea, there is none that sheweth. 

Yea, there is none that declareth, 

Yea, there is none that heareth your words. 

' The first ^ shall say to Zion, Behold, behold them : 

And I will give to Jerusalem one that bringeth good tidings. 
2fi g YoY I beheld, and there ivas no man ; 

Even among them, and there ivas no counseller. 

That, when I asked of them, could f answer a word. 
■^^ '' Behold, they are all vanity ; their works are nothing : 

Their molten images are wind and confusion. 
XLII. ^ Behold " my servant, whom I uphold ; 







X ch. 45. 21. 

t Heb. set our 

heart upon them. 

y ch. 42. 9. & 
44. 7, S. & 45 3. 
John 13. 19. 

z Jer. 10. 5. 

a Ps. 115. 8, 
ch. 44. 9. 

I Cor. 8. 4. 

U Or, worse limn 

II Or, worse than 
nf a ri/ier. 

b Ezra 1. 2. 

c ver. 2. 

49. 3, 6. & 52. 13. & 53. 11. Matt. 12 

■ ver. 4. 
ch. 4U. a. 

gch. 63. ». 

t Ileb. return, 
h ver. 24. 

a ch.43. 10. & 
18, 19, 20. Phil. 2. 7. 

22. shew MS tvhat shall happen — declare its things for to 
rome'] As the God of Israel now does, by foretelling what will 
be done by Cyrus, and by Christ. Here is the proof that He, 
and He alone, is God. He, and He alone, can foretell what will 
happen, even in the last days. 

— the former things — the latter end of t?iem~\ The former 
things are the conquests of Cyrus, the overthrow of Babylon, 
the deliverance and restoration of Israel j the latter end of 
them, are the times of the Messiah, which were prefigured by 
the former. Cp. Stier, p. 70. 

23. That we may he dismayed^ Rather, that toe may loolc on 
one another. See v. 10 ; and Qesen. 841, under the verb shaa ; 
and Fiierst, 1422. 

25. from the north'] I. e. from Media (cp. Jer. 1. 3, 9), as well 
as from the east {v. 2), Persia^or, as it is here expressed, rising 
of the sun. See on v. 2. 

— shall he call upon my name'] See on 2 Chron. xxxvi. 23, 
and on Ezra i. 2. 

26. 'Who hath — righteous] Which of the gods of the Heathen 
has foretold the coming and conquests of Cyrus, that we may 
know and acknowledge that god to be right I Yea, there teas 
none who showed this — none but the God of Israel ; none heard 
your words preannouncing these events. 

27. The first— behold them] These are God's words: I, tJie 
first, said to Zion, Behold, behold them ; that is. Behold these 
persons and things (Cyrus, and his victories, and Israel's deli- 
verance) ; and much more, God foretold what was foreshadowed 
by them, namely, the spiritual conquests of Cheist, and the 
spiritual blessings conferred by Him. 

The word rendered the first (rishon), declares that God is 
before all things ; see v. 4, and xliv. 6 j xlviii. 12. The adop- 
iion of this title by Christ, Who calls Himself the Alpha and 
Omega, the first and the last (Rev. i. 8. 17 ; ii.8), is an assertion 
of His Divinity. Cp. John i. 15. 30. 

— one that bringeth good tidings] In a primary sense, he 
brings the good tidings of the acts of Cyrus, besieginij and 


taking Babylon, and liberating God's captive people ; and, 
secondarily, the good tidings of Christ's Incarnation and victo- 
ries. See on xl. 9, where the same verb is used, and cp. Mai. 
iii. 1. 

28,29. I beheld, and there was no man — Behold, they are 
all vanity — their molten images are tvind and confusion] I 
looked to the diviners and magicians, the votaries of the deities 
who are worshipped by Babylon and the heathen nations ; but 
none of them could answer a word when I asked them a ques- 

This was exemplified in the perplexity of the Chaldean 
astrologers, soothsayers, and magicians, when questioned by 
Nebuchadnezzar concerning his two dreams (Dan. ii. 2 ; iv. 7), 
and by Belshazzar concerning the handwriting on the wall. 
They could not answer a word ; but, in both cases, God, by 
His servant the Prophet Daniel, gave replies, which were veri- 
fied by the event. 

Further, if the gods which Babylon worshipped had pos- 
sessed any divine knowledge, they would certainly have fore- 
warned Babylon against the coming of Cyrus (whose rise and 
conquest of that city had been foretold by the God of Israel 
speaking by Isaiah more than a hundred years before the 
event), and who took Babylon suddenly on the night of a great 
yearly festival, celebrated by her in honour of her gods, and 
when she was engaged in worshipping them, and in profaning 
the sacred vessels of Jehovah (Dan. v. 1—4). 

" Behold My Servant."— The Peeaching of Christ. 

Ch. XLII.] The Chaldee Targum begins this chapter with 
the remarkable words, " Behold My servant, Messiah, My 
Beloved, in Whom My Word is well pleased : I will put My 
Holy Spirit upon Him, and He will reveal My Judgment to 
the Gentiles." So Kimchi also, and Abarbanel. 

The Arabic Version prefixes to this chaptei- the following 
title : " Prophecy concerning Christ, the Lord." 
R 2 

Christ's ministry. 

ISAIAH XLII. 2 — 5. The Gentiles shall receive Him. 

b Matt. 3. 1 7. & 
17. 5. 
Eph. 1. 6. 
c ch. 11. 2. 
Johns. 34. 

II Or, dimly 


t Heh. .quench it. 

i Heb. brukcn. 

d Gen. 49. 10. 

e ch. 44. 24. 
Zech. 12. 1. 

^ delightetli 

Mine elect, in ivhom my soul 

*" I have put my spirit upon him : 

He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles ; 
- He shall not cry, nor lift up. 

Nor cause his voice to be heard in the street ; 
2 A bruised reed shall he not break, 

And the || smoking flax shall he not | quench : 

He shall bring forth judgment unto truth ; 
"^ He shall not ftiil nor be f discouraged, 

Till he have set judgment in the earth : 

•^ And the isles. shall wait for his law. 
^ Thus saith God the Lord, 

^ He that created the heavens, and stretched them out ; 

That this prophecy does describe the Office and Ministry 
of Cheist, and was fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth, we have the 
testimony of the Holy Ghost, in the Gospel of St. Matthew 
(xii. 17—21). 

Isaiah proceeds here by a noble transition from speaking 
of the great Conqueror of Babylon and of the East, — Cyrus, 
the human type, — to speak of Christ, the Divine Antitype, the 
King of kings, and of His conquests in the Gospel. See on 
xli. 2. 

1. mt/ servanti A term applied to Israel (xli. 8, 9 ; xHv. 1, 2. 
21 ; xlv. 4 ; xlviii. 20 ; xlix. 3), and here given by the Father 
Himself to Christ, the Antitype and Personification of Israel 
in His perfect obedience, as the elect, beloved, " rigJiteoiis 
servant," through Whom the Israel of God is justified and 
accepted by God. See below, liii. 11 ; and lii. 13 ; and cp. 
Acts iii. 13. 26 ; iv. 27. 30, where this title is applied to Christ. 
See below, on Acts iii. 13. 

" The servant of Jehovah " is in these prophecies the 
Antitype of an historical person, — Cyrus, — in his acts as the 
Minister of Jehovah, the Conqueror of His enemies, and the 
DeUverer of His People. 

The ancient Hebrew Church regarded "the Servant of 
Jehovah " as the Messiah (see Bp. Chandler, i. 160) ; and this 
was the uniform judgment of all early Christian expositors. 
Thus S. Justin Martyr (c. Tryphon. § 123) says, " \i you have 
ears to hear, you will hearken to God, who speaks to you by 
Isaiah concerning Christ, and calls Him, by a figure, Jacob and 
Israel." He then quotes this passage (vv. 1 — 4), and adds, " As 
all your race is called Israel and Jacob from one, so we, in 
Christ, Who begat us, are, as Jacob and Isi-ael, children of God, 
if we obey Christ j" and in § 135, " As Isaiah calls Christ 
Israel and Jacob, so we, being born of Christ, are the true 
Israel of God." Cp. Hengst., Christol. i. pp. 196 — 208, English 
translation ; Stier, pp. 78 — 84 ; Keil, Einleit. p. 243 ; DeUtzsch, 
p. 414. 

Christ, Who existed from eternity, in the form of God, 
humbled Himself, and took upon Him iheform of a servant, 
and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 
Therefore God highly exalted Him, and gave Him the Name 
that is above every Name, that at the Name of Jesus, — the 
name He has as Man, — every knee should bow (Phil. ii. 

We must therefore reject, as inadequate and unsatisfactory, 
the theory of some modern expositors, who, running counter to 
the analogy of faith, and contravening the uniform testimony 
of the ancient Christian Church, "the servant of 
Jehovah" to be either the Hebrew Nation, as distinguished 
from the heathen (as Eosenmiiller, Hitzig, and others), or a 
new Israel opposed to the old, or the righteous part of the 
Hebrew Nation {Eivald, Maurer, Knohel), or the Israel which 
suffered for its religious testimony to the heathen {Hofmann) ; 
or an ideal Israel; or theOrder of the Hebrew prophets {Gesenius, 
De TFette, Umbreif). 

The " Servant of Jehovah," as represented by Isaiah, is a 
Person ; He is a Prophet, Priest, and King. He is more than 
* Prophet, as teaching the World ; He is more than a Priest, 
as ofl'ering Himself for all ; He is King of kings, and Lord of 
lords; He is God. At the same time, it may be readily 
acknowledged, that the name " the Servant of Jehovah " 
embraces the Hebrew Nation (see xli. 8; xlv. 4; xlviii. 20, and 
note on xlix. 3), which was a type of Christ (see on Exod. iv. 22, 

"Israel is My Son, even My firstborn ;" and on Matt. ii. 15, " Out 
of Egypt have I called My Son "), and was concentrated and 
summed up in Christ ; as, in the Christian dispensation, the 
Cliurch is summed np in Christ, and is the Body, of which He 
is the Head (Eph. i. 22; iv. 15; v. 23. Col. i. 18). Cp. 
Hdvernick, Vorlesungcn, pp. 233 — 265, who has well dis- 
criminated the elements of truth in the theories just men- 
tioned, and has supplied what is wanting in them, and has 
corrected what is erroneous. 

— my spirit^ Observe the connexion of this with the close 
of the foregoing address, at the end of the preceding chapter. 
There God says, " Their molten images are wind " (Heb. ruach). 
But here God says of the Messiah, " I have put upon Him My 
Spirit" (Heb. ruach). How striking is the contrast! Idols 
are more wind ; but God's breath is in Christ. 

— He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles'^ Or, as it 
is expressed by St. Matthew (xii. 18), He shall shotv, or declare, 
judgment or right, that is, God's righteous law, not only to the 
Jews, but to the Gentiles (cp. v. 4), who, before the preaching of 
the Gospel, were in a condition of lawlessness, and consequent 
misery, doing what was wrong, and suffering it. See St. Paul's 
description of their moral condition, "being filled with all 
unrighteousness," &c. (Rom. i. 29 — 32). 

2. Se shall not cry'] St. Matthew expands this into, " He 
shall not strive nor cry," which is an exposition of the sense 
in which the word cry was used, which might have been 

3. bruised reed] The contrite heart and humble spirit. 
Christ, the Divine King and Conqueror, is displayed in a 

beautiful contrast to the earthly sovereigns and victors of the 
ancient World. Their ambition was to crush and destroy ; 
His desire is to cherish and save (see x. 7). 

— smoking flax] A glimmering wick of faith. Cp. S. 
Jerome, quoted below, on Matt. xii. 20. 

— He shall bring forth judgment unto truth] That is, to a 
firm and stable position. This meaning of the Hebrew word 
emeth, whicli is an abbreviation of ameneth, truth, is manifest 
from its etymology, dman, to establish {Geseyi. 58. 62). 

St. Matthew, xii. 20, combines this clause with that in 
the following verse, " till he have set judgment in the earth," ai\6. 
paraphrases them by what expresses the sense of both, till He 
have brought forth judgment unto victory; that is, till He 
have firmly established it every where. 

4. nor be discouraged] Literally, nor be broken (Sept.). The 
Prophet repeats the word, which is rendered bruised in the 
foregoing verse. Christ will not break, nor will He be broken. 
This was fulfilled literally of Him, of Whom it was written, 
" That a bone of Him shall not be broken " (Exod. xii. 46. 
John xix. 36). 

— the isles] Rendered by St. Matthew " the Gentiles." See 
note on Matt. xii. 17 ; and above, v. 1, and v. 6. 

— shall wait for his latv] Shall trust in His Name, Sept., 
paraphrasing the words ; and so Matt. xii. 21. 

5.] This section (xliii. 10), which declares tliat the God of 
Israel is the Creator of all things, and in which He pro- 
mises to comfort Israel, when he passes through the waters of 
affiictiou, was appointed by the Hebrew Church to be read 
together with Gen. i. 1 — vi. 8, which contains the history of 
the World from the Creation to the Flood. The reason of 
this happy combination is obvious. 

Christ sent to Jew and Gentile. ISAIAH XLII. G— 14. 

He tliat spread forth tlie earth, and that which cometh out of it ; 

^ He that giveth hreath unto the people upon it, 

And spirit to them that walk therein : 
^ '' I the Lord have called thee in righteousness. 

And will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, 

' And give thee for a covenant of the people, 

For ^ a light of the Gentiles ; 
^ ' To open the blind eyes, 

To '" bring out the prisoners from the prison. 

And them that sit in " darkness out of the prison house. 
^ I am the Lord : that is my name : 

And my ° glory will I not give to another, 

Neither my praise to graven images. 
^ Behold, the former things are come to pass, 

And new things do I declare : 

Before they spring forth I tell you of them. 

^^ p Sing unto the Lord a new song. 

And his praise from the end of the earth, 

"^ Ye that go down to the sea, and f all that is therein ; 

The isles, and the inhabitants thereof. 
^^ Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice. 

The villages that Kedar doth inhabit : 

Let the inhabitants of the rock sing, 

Let them shout from the top of the mountains. 
'- Let them give glory unto the Lord, 

And declare his praise in the islands. 
'^ The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man. 

He shall stir up jealousy like a man of war : 

He shall cry, "■ yea, roar ; 

He shall || prevail against his enemies. 
I have long time holden my peace ; 

I have been still, and refrained myself : 

Noio will I cry like a travailing woman ; 

His march of victory. 






f Ps. 136. G. 

g Acts 17. 25. 

h ch. 43. 1. 

i ch. 49. 8. 

k ch. 49. 6. 
Luke 2. 32. 
Acts 13. 47. 

1 ch. 35. 5. 
m ch. 61. 1. 
Luke 4. 18. 

2 Tim. 2. 2(5. 
Heb. 2. 14, 15. 
n ch. 9. 2. 

ch. 48. 11. 

p Ps. 33. .1. & 
40. 3. &98. 1. 

q Ps. 107. 23. 
t Heb. thefutnet. 

II Or, behave hhn- 
selj mightily. 

The Commission to Christ. 

6, 7. the Lord — prison house] That this passage is pro- 
phetic of Christ's Office and Ministry, not only in giving sight 
literally to those who could not see, but to those who were 
spiritually blind, is evident from the combination of these 
words with the promise of a release from prison (a promise not 
literally fulfilled by Him, but verified in the spiritual eman- 
cipation of Mankind — an emancipation prefigured by the act 
of Cyrus, liberating God's people from their Captivity in 
Babylon), and from the application of the ]«rallel passage in 
Ixi. 1, to Him, by Christ Himself (Luke iv. 17 — 21). Cp. above, 
ix. 2. Matt. iv. 15, 16. Eph. v. 8. Col. i. 13; and S. Justin 
Martyr, in his dialogue with Tryphon the Jew, § 26, and 
§ 122, where he shows that the prophecies are fulfilled by 

8. my glory toill I not give to another'] This te.xt is quoted 
by the Jews, alleging the Unity of the Godhead; and that 
divine worship is therefore not to be given to Christ. To 
which allegation S. Justin Martyr replies (c. Tryphon. § 65), 
showing from Isaiah himself that Christ is God (vii. 14). 

9. the former things] What I promised and pre-announccd 
before : all My promises to Abraham, your forefather. See 
Josh. xxi. 45 : " There failed not ought of any good thing 
which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel ; all came 
to pass." The new things are the blessings prefigured by the 


old, or former things. The new things are the graces vouch- 
safed in the New Covenant, by Him Who maketh all things 
new (Rev. xxi. 5. Cp. Rev. iii. 12 ; xxi. 1) ; and therefore 
the people of God are exhorted to sing a new song (v. 10), in 
which the Gentiles, being received into the new covenant 
together with the Jews (see v, 6), are invited to join (vv. 

11. Kedar — the rock] Ishmael and Edom (see xxi. 11 — 17), 
formerly enemies of God's Church, and here the representatives 
of her foes generally, are now represented as admitted into it, 
and reconciled to Israel. Cp. Ix. T. 

The Triumphal March of Christ. 

13. The JjOTIT) shall go forth] " Conquering and to conquer." 
Christ is "the stronger" One, overcoming "the strong man" 
(see Matt. xii. 29. John xii. 31) ; and He is thus represented 
in the first seal of the Apocalypse, describing His victories in 
the first ages of the Gospel (Rev. vi. 2), — victories to be con- 
summated in the latter days. See Rev. xix. 11 — 16. 

Here is an enlargement of the prophecy in the foregoing 
chapter (xii. 15, 16). 

14. like a travailing woman] Christ Himself now speaks, 
By a bold figure. He is here compared to a travailing woman. 
The earnest longing, with which the travailing woman yearns 
for her delivery, is a type of the eager desire of the Lord of 

Christ's invitation to the Jews. ISAIAH XLII. 15 — 25. 

Reason of their rejection. 





+ Heb. swalliiiv, 

or, sup up. 

t Heb. ivto 

s Ps. 97. 7. 
ch. 1. 29. & 
H. 11. & 4.'. 

t ch. t3. 8. 
Ezek. 12. 2. 
See John 9. 39, 

u Horn. 2. 21. 

Or, him. 

II Or, in S7?ariiig 
all the young 
men uj them. 

t Heb. a 

t Heb. for I u 
after timei 



I will destroy and f devour at once ; 
^^ I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herhs ; 

And I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools. 
^^ And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not ; 

I will lead them in paths that they have not Imown : 

I will make darkness hght before them, and crooked things f straight. 

These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. 

They shall be ' turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in 
graven images. 

That say to the molten images, Ye are our gods. 
Hear, ye deaf; 

And look, ye blind, that ye may see ; 
'^ 'Who is blind, but my servant ? 

Or deaf, as my messenger that I sent ? 

Who is blind as he that is perfect. 

And blind as the Loed's servant ? 

Seeing many things, " but thou observest not ; 

Opening the ears, but he heareth not. 
The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness' sake ; 

He will magnify the law, and make || it honourable. 

But this is a people robbed and spoiled ; 

jl They are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses : 

They are for a prey, and none delivereth ; 

For f a spoil, and none saith, Kestore. 
Who among you will give ear to this ? 

Who will hearken and hear f for the time to come ? 
2* Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers ? 

Did not the Lord, he against whom we have sinned ? 

For they would not walk in his ways, 

Neither were they obedient unto his law. 
2^ Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength 
of battle : 




Hosts for tlie birth of a blessed offspring. That Birth can be no 
other than the Birth of a new People to God, who were born 
through the Incarnation of Him, for Whose Coming all Man- 
kind yearned and groaned, since the primeval prophecy in 
Gen. iii. 15, and repeated by Isa. vii. 14 ; ix. 6, and fulfilled in 
the words of the Angel Gabriel : " The Power of the Highest 
shall overshadow thee " (Luke i. 35). 

— I will destlroy and devour at once'\ Rather, I will Ireathe 
forth, I toill pant at once, as in eager longing and haste for 
some great consummation. Cp. Job vii. 2 ; xxxvi. 20. Ps. 
cxix. 131. Eccl. i. 5, where the same verb (shaaph) is used. 

15. I will maTce waste mountains and hills^ The progress 
of Christ as a mighty Conqueror is thus de.scribed. Cp. xl. 
3, 4; xli. 15, 16. He is not only a mighty Conqueror, but a 
benefi-cent Guide, who leads the blind in paths of Truth, and 
Love, and Joy, that they knew not. See S. Justin Martyr, 
c. Tryph. § 122. Cp. above, v. 7. 

Christ's Invitation to the Jews. 

18. Hear, ye deaf— ye blind'] This is Christ's appeal to the 
obstinate and ignorant among the Jews. See what follows; 
and cp. John viii. 43 ; ix. 39. 

19. Who is blind, but my servant ?] TFlio is blind, but Jacob, 
My people, who calls itself My servant, and whom I designed 
to be such ? See on v. 1. Or, who is deaf, but My messenger, 
Israel, whom I instructed in My law, and whom I sent forth 
from Egypt, to declare My judgments, and to evangelize the 
world ? None are so blind as they who, when they have a 
noonday efRilgence of light, will not see ; none so deaf as they 


to whom God Himself declared His will, as He did to Israel, 
and who would not hearken. See S. Justin Martyr, c. Tryphon. 
§ 123, who applies these words to the Jews of his own age. 

— Who is blind as he that is perfect] Rather, he that is 
God's favoured friend (Heb. meshullam), the pual form from 
shalam,, to be at peace ivith (cp. Job xxii. 21. Ps. vii. 4. 
2 Sam. XX. 19), to live as a favourite friend with {Qesen. 830), 
whence moslem, mussuhnan. 

20. Seeing many things — opening the ears] The Jews were 
admitted to the privilege of seeing God's mighty and wonderfid 
works (Deut. xxix. 1, 2), and of being hearers of His gracious 
messages ; but in heart and mind they were blind and deaf. 
Cp. Jer. v. 21; vi. 10. Ezek. xii. 2; and Matt. xiii. 14. 
John xii. 40. 

21. The LoED is well pleased] The Lord was toell pleased 
for His own righteousness sake, and He made for Israel a 
mighty and a glorious law; which is consummated in Christ, 
(Rora. X. 4), "Who is the brightness of His Father's glory" 
(Heb. i. 3). 

22. JBut this is a people robbed] Notwithstanding all God'a 
favour to Israel, Israel is spoiled, and carried captive ; and 
why ? Not because of any failure in God's love, but because 
of their sins; because they are wilfully blind and deaf. Thus 
God's righteousness is manifested and vindicated in the chas- 
tisement of His people. See v. 24. 

24. Did not the Lord] It is not Babylon that has overcome 
Jerusalem and has conquered Jehovah ; no, but the Lord hath 
used Babylon as His instrument in punishing Jerusalem's sins 
against Himself. Cp. Deut. xxix. 24 — 28. 

Gcd's invitation in Christ 


to penitent Israel. 

" And it liatli set him on fire round about, ^ yet lie knew not ; 
And it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart. 

XLIII. 1 But now thus saith the Lord ^ that created thee, Jacob, 

''And he that formed thee, Israel, 

Fear not : "^ for I have redeemed thee, 

'^ I have called tliee by thy name ; thou art mine. 
- ^ When thou passest through the waters, *" I will he with thee ; 

And through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee : 

When thou ^ walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned ; 

Neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. 
2 For I am the Lord thy Grod, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour : 

'' I gave Egypt for thy ransom, 

Ethiopia and Seba for thee ; 
■* Since thou wast precious in my sight. 

Thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee : 

Therefore will I give men for thee, 

And people for thy || life. 
^ ' Fear not : for I am with thee : 

I will bring thy seed from the east, 

And gather thee from the west ; 
•^ I will say to the north, Give up ; 

And to the south. Keep not back : 

Bring my sons from far, 

And my daughters from the ends of the earth ; 
7 Even every one that is ^ called by my name : 





X 2 Kings 25 

y Hos. 7. 9. 

a ver. 7. 
b ver. 21. 
ch. 44. 2, 21, 24 
c ch. 44. 6. 
d ch. 42. 6. & 

e Ps. 66. 12. & 
91. 3, &c. 
IDeut. .31. 6, 8, 

g Dan. 3. 25, 27, 

h Prov. 11.8. 
21. 18. 

II Or, peiiiin. 

ich. 41. 10, 14. 

& 44. 2. 

Jer. 30. 10, 11. 

& 46. 27, 28. 

k ch. 63. 19. 

James 2. 7. 

25. it burned Mm, yet he laid it not to liearf] The Prophet 
foresees God's wrath kindled, and burning up the City and 
Temple of Jerusalem ; but the peo;ple laid it not to heart, and 
did not repent. 

Tliis is true even to this day. The Jews do not yet lay to 
heart the truth of the divine assertion, tliat not the Roman 
armies of Titus, but the fire of the Lord's wrath burnt up 
Jerusalem for rejecting Christ. 

But see the promise which follows in the next chapter. 
Though their Temple and City have been burned, and though 
they have been scattered as e.xiles, yet His gracious words to 
them are, " Fear not, for I have redeemed thee ; when thou 
passest through the waters, I will be with thee." 

God's Love to Israel. Consolatokt Peomises to 
PENITENT Israel in Cheist. 

Ch. XLIII. 2. When thou passest through the waters — rivers'] 
As I showed thee of old by carrying thee on dry laud through 
the waters of the Red Sea, and in driving back the waters of 
the river of Jordan, that they might not overflow thee (Josh, 
iii. 13). These miracles of old are pledges to thee of greater 
mercies in Christ. 

— (Vhen thou walTcest through the fire, thou shalt not be 
burned] As usual, the language at the close of the foregoing 
address is taken up and repeated (see above on xli. 1). The 
fire burnt Jerusalem in the Chaldean and Roman sieges (see 
xlii. 25), and His faithful servants were cast into the furnace at 
Babylon (Dan. iii. 25). But God is always fulfilling His pro- 
misee to true Israelites : " We went through fire and water, 
and Thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place " (Ps. Ixvi. 

The mighty power of Assyria, to which the Prophet refers 
in the next verse, has been already compared to a great flood of 
water, threatening to overwhelm every thing (xvii. 12). 

3. / gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for 

thee] When Sennacherib threatened to destroy Jerusalem, 

Hezekiah, in his temporary fear and distrust, gave him the 

silver and gold in the Lord's house for a ransom (see 2 Kings 


xviii. 14—16). But this did not satisfy the cravings of the 
rapacious Conqueror. Then God drew oft' the army of Assyria 
to the south, and gave Egypt, and Ethiopia, and Seba into his 
hands instead of Jerusalem, and as a ransom (or exchange, as 
Sept. renders it) for Jerusalem, till at length Hezekiah re- 
covered his fiiith in God ; see above, on chap, xx., which 
describes these events. Seba is the Ethiopian ' Meroe, Nilotic 
isle ' (as it is called by Milton in Par. Reg. iv. 71), the penin- 
sula between the White and Blue Nile, now J)ar Sennar, on 
the northern frontier of Abyssmia. Cp. Ps. Ixxii. 10, and 
A Lapide here. 

In a spiritual sense, all the enemies of God's Church are 
given as a ransom for her ; that is, they are used by God as 
instruments for her deliverance {S. Cyril). 

4. Since thou tvast precious in my sight— therefore loill I 
give men for thee, and people for thy life] Rather; / give 
peoples for thy life. This is an addition to what was said iu 
the foregoing verse. Not only did I give other nations as thy 
ransom, for thy deliverance, but also, because thou wast pre- 
cious in my sight, by the piety of such virtuous persons as 
Hezekiah, and because I loved thee, therefore I give men for 
thee, and peoples for thy life. I will give up fii-st the Assy- 
rians, thy former enemies, into the hands of the Medes and 
Babylonians ; and I will give up the Babylonians into the hand 
of Cyrus, in order to rescue and deliver thee, O Israel, and 
to rcHtore thee to thy own land. See what follows. 

5. I toill bring thy seed from the east] After the overthrow 
of Babylon by Cyrus. That restoration is represented by the 
Prophet as a pledge of a more general and glorious restoration 
of Israel by the Messiah. Cp. above, xi. 11, 12. Ezek. xxxvii. 

7. Even every one that is called by my name] Not only 
Jews, but Gentiles also united with them in the true Sion — the 
Church of Christ. See the words of St. Peter at Jerusalem on 
the day of Pentecost, Acts ii. 39, " The promise is unto you, and 
to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as 
the Lord our God shall call." " And it shall come to pass, 
whosoever shall call on the Name of the Lord shall be saved " 
(Acts ii. 21. Cp. Acts x. 35; xv. 17). 

Contrast of God and idols. 


Israel is God's ivitness. 





1 Ps. 100. 3. 
ch. 29. 23. 
John 3. 3, 5. 

2 Cor. 5. 17. 
Eph. 2. 10. 
m ver. 1. 

n ch. 6. 9. 
& 42. 19. 
Ezek. 12. 2. 

och.41, 21, 
22, 2G. 

p ch. 44. 8. 

q ch. 42. 1. & 
55. 4. 

r ch. 41.4. & 
44. 6. 

II Or, nothinij 
formed of God. 

s ch. 45. 21. 
Hos. 13. 4. 

t Dent. 32. IG. 
Ps. 81. 9. 
u ch. 44. 8. 
ver. 10. 
X Ps. 90. 2. 
John 8. 58. 

t Heb. lurn it 
back f 
y Job9. 12. 
ch. 14. 27. 

t Ileb. bnr3. 


For ' I have created him for my glory, 

'" I have formed him ; yea, I have made him. 
^ " Bring forth the bhnd people that have eyes, 

And the deaf that have ears. 
^ Let all the nations be gathered together, 

And let the people be assembled : 

° Who among them can declare this, and shew ns former things ? 
Let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified 

.Or let them hear, and say, It is truth. 
p Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lobd, 

"^ And my servant whom I have chosen : 

That ye may know and believe me. 

And understand that I am he : 

■■ Before me there was || no God formed. 

Neither shall there be after me. 
'' I, even I, ' am the Lord ; 

And beside me there is no saviour. 
^^ I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed. 

When there ivas no ' strange god among you : 

" Therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God. 
^^ "" Yea, before the day icas I am he ; 

And there is none that can deliver out of my hand : 

I will work, and who shall f ^ let it ? 
^^ Thus saith the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel ; 

For your sake I have sent to Babylon, 

And have brought down all their f nobles. 

And the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships. 
^^ I am the Lord, your Holy One, 

The creator of Israel, your King. 

8. Bring forth the Mind people that have eyes] Bring forth 
the Jews, who are spiritually blind and deaf, although they 
have eyes and ears (vi. 10 ; xlii. 19, 20. Jer. v. 21. Ezek. xii. 2. 
Matt. xiii. 14. Mark iv. 12. Rom. xi. 8). 

9. Let all the nations he gathered together] Into one 
communion with the Jews, in the spiritual Jerusalem of the 
Universal Church of God. 

— Who among them can declare this] What oracle among 
the Heathen could foretell this union of the Gentiles with the 
Jews ? See Ejah. iii. 4 — 6, where St. Paul says that this union 
of the Gentiles to be fellow-heirs of the same body with the 
Jews in Christ, was a mystery not made known to the sons of 
men, but revealed unto the holy Apostles and Prophets by the 
Spirit. There ought to be a fuller stop— a note of interrogation 
— after " this." 

— and shew us former things] And let them sheio us former 
things. The gods of the Heathen are not able to declare distant 
things — such as the union of the Gentiles with the Jews in one 
Church — no ; far from it. If thej"^ can, let them show things 
much nearer than that event ; but they are not able to do it. 

— Let them bring forth their witnesses] To testify that they 
have foretold future things, and that their prophecies have been 

— let them hear] Let them hearJcen to the prophecies of the 
God of Israel ; and let them confess that they have come time, 
and that, therefore, the God of Israel alone He is God. 

10. Ye are my witnesses] Ye house of Israel, my servant 
whom I have chosen, are my ivitnesses. Ye have been the de- 
positaries of my prophecies ever since the first Books of Scrip- 
ture were written, which were consigned to your care (see 
above, on Deut. xxxi. 9; and below, Rom. iii. 2); ye are my 
witnesses that these prophecies have been fulfilled. Compare 

above, xxxiv. 16 ; and below, v. 12 ; and xliv. 7, 8, where there 
is the same appeal to the Jews as God's witnesses. See Davison 
on Prophecy, p. 193. 

12. Wheti there was no strange god among you] And there- 
fore ye would not have learnt any thing of the future from any 
other god but Me. Then Israel said, " The Lord alone did lead 
me, and there was no strange god with me " (Deut. xxxii. 12). 

14. For your sake — shijis] Rather, For your sake, O Israel 
— I have sent Cyrus and the Medes to Babylon ; I have driven 
all as fugitives (see xv. 5; xxvii. 1. Job xxvi. 13, where the 
same word is used ; and cp. Sept., Syriac, Gesen. 141), and 
the Chaldeans (the military and dominant caste of Babylon, 
see xiii. 19. Jer. v. 16), to the skips of their Jubilant cry. 

Babylon communicated with the Persian Gulf by the Eu- 
phrates, and with the country to the south of the Black Sea 
and the west of the Caspian by means of the Tigris, united to 
the Euphrates by a canal, and thus became the emporium of 
the East {Herod, i. 194), and is therefore called by Ezekiel 
(xvii. 4) " a land of traflic, a city of merchants." 

It may be inferred from this passage of Isaiah, that, when 
Babylon was suddenly taken at night by Cyrus, many of the 
Chaldean nobles and warriors fled, in panic and confusion, for 
refuge to their ships on the Euphrates, and escaped as fugitives 
by means of those vessels, in wliich they had formerly gloried. 
Berosus (quoted by Josephus c. Apion. i. § 20) relates that 
Nabonnedus, king of Babylon, fled from Cyrus to Borsippa, on 
the south of Babylon. 

In the Apocalypse, they who had once traded, in spiritual 
commerce, with the mystical Babylon, are represented as fleeing 
from her. See Rev. xviii. 15 — 18, " In one hour so great riches 
is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the com- 
pany in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood 
afar oflT, and cried when they saw the smoke of her burning." 

God's goodness to Israel. 


Israel's sin. 

^^ Tims saith the Lord, wliicli ''maketli a way in the sea. 

And a " path in the mighty waters ; 
-7 Which ^ bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power ; 

They shall lie down together, they shall not rise, 

They are extinct, they are quenched as tow. 
^^ " Remember ye not the former things. 

Neither consider the things of old ? 
'^ Behold, I will do a "^ new thing ; 

Now it shall spring forth ; shall ye not know it ? 

^ I will even make a way in the wilderness. 

And rivers in the desert ; 
^^ The beast of the field shall honour me, 

The dragons and the || f owls : 

Because '^I give waters in the wilderness, 

And rivers in the desert. 

To give drink to my people, my chosen. 
2^ ^ This people have I formed for myself ; 

They shall shew forth my praise. 
^■^ But thou hast not called upon me, Jacob ; 

But thou ^ hast been weary of me, Israel. 
-^ ' Thou hast not brought me the f small cattle of thy burnt offerings ; 

Neither hast thou honoured me with thy sacrifices ; 

I have not caused thee to serve with an ofiering, 

Nor wearied thee with incense ; 
2* Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, 

Neither hast thou f filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices : 

But thou hast made me to serve with thy sins. 

Thou hast "wearied me with tliine iniquities. 
^^ I, even I, am he that ' blotteth out thy transgressions "" for mine own sake, 

" And will not remember thy sins. 
2*" Put me in remembrance : let us plead together : 

Declare thou, that thou mayest be justified. 
^^ Thy first father hath sinned. 

And thy f teachers have transgressed against me. 





z Exod. 14. 16, 


Ps. 77. 19. 
cb. 51. 10. 
a Josh. 3. 13, 16. 
b Exod. 14. 4-y, 

c Jer. IG. 14. & 
23. 7. 

d 2 Cor. 5. 17. 
Rev. 21.5. 

e Exod. 17. 6. 
Num.20. 11. 
Deut, 8. 15. 
Vs. 78. 16. 
ch. 35. 6. & 
41. 18. 

II Or, ostriches. 
t Heb. dauc/hters 
of the owl. 
f ch. 48. 21, 

g Ps. 102. 18. 
ver. 1 , 7. 
Luke 1. 74, 7S'. 
Eph. 1.5, 6. 

h Mai. 1. 13. 

i Amos 5. 25. 
+ Heb. lambs, 
or, kids. 

f Heb. made me 
drunk, or, abun- 
dantly moistened 

k ch. 1. 14. 

Mai. 2. 17. 

Ich. 44.22. & 

48. 9. 

Jer. 50. 20. 

Acts 3. 19. 

m Ezek. 36. 22. 


n ch. 1. 18. 

Jer. 31. 34. 

+ Heb. inter- 
Mai. 2. 7, 8. 

16, 17. which maketh a way in the sea — as tow'] God is ever 
renewing the wonders of the Exodus for His people ; He ntiaketh 
a way for them in the sea, and He bringeth forth the Pharaohs 
of this world and their mighty host, in order to be overwlielmed 
in its waves (Exod. xiv. 5 — 31. Ps. Ixxvii. 19; below, li. 10). 
And He does greater works than these ; He adds new things to 
the old ; He delivers His people from the captivity of Babylon 
by Cyrus, and from the bondage of Satan by Christ ; and the 
old things, wonderful as they were, are forgotten when com- 
pared with the new (below, Ixv. 17. Jer. xxiii. 7). 

19. a way in the wilderness'] First fi-om Babylon to Jeru- 
salem by Cyrus ; next from earth to heaven by Christ, Cp. 
xli. 18. 

20. dragons — owls] See xiii. 21, 22. 

21.] This section to xliv. 23 (which speaks of the worship 
due to God and the vanity of idols) is appointed to be read in 
the Hebrew Synagogues with Lev. i. 1 to v. 26, which de- 
scribes the sacrifices prescribed by Him. 

22. But thou hast been weary of me] Rather, so as to he 
wearied by Me, that is, by laborious worship of Me. Cp. 
Mic. vi. 3, " O My people, wherein have I wearied thee ? " 
Mai. i, 13, " Ye said also. Behold, what a weariness is it ! " 
See here, v. 23, " I have not wearied thee with incense — but 
thou hast wearied Me with thine iniquities," v. 24, Cp. Mai. ii. 
17, " Ye have wearied the Lord with your words." 

Vol, V. Paet 1,-129 

23, Neither hast thou honoured me] The emphasis is on Me : 
thou hast given to strange gods the honour due to Me alone. 
See on Amos v. 25, "Have ye offered- unto Me sacrifices and 
offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?" 
No — not to Me, but to idols. Cp. on Acts vii. 42, 43. 

— I have not caused thee to serve] I have not burdened 
thee with service ; but thou hast burdened Me by sin. 

24. sioeet cane] In Jer. vi. 20 God says, " To what purpose 
Cometh there to Me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from 
a far country ? " This sweet cane was used for incense {Mai- 
monides, and Vitringa, 467) and for the holy oil (Exod. xxx. 

25. 1, even J] I, I alone, am able to pardon thee : thy strange 
gods only make thee sin, while only I can blot out thy sin j and 
yet thou hast preferred them to Me ! 

27. Thy first father hath sinned]. 

Who is meant by their " first father" ? 

(1) Not Adam (as some say), for he was not the father 
specially of the Jews ; nor was his sin the cause of their misery, 

(2) Much less Abraham ; for if they had been Abraham's 
children, they would have obeyed God ; and they would have 
faith in Christ, Whose Day Abraham rejoiced to see. See John 
viii. 33 — 56, 

(3) Nor Uriah the Priest (2 Kings xvi. 10), as others 

God's gracious invitation ISAIAH XLIII. 28. XLIV. 1— 8. to Israel's seed in Christ. 




o cli.47. 6. 
Lam. 2. 2, C, 7. 
II Or, holy 
p Ps. 79. 4. 
Jar. 24. 9. 
Dan. 9. 11. 
Zeeh. 8. 13. 

aver. 21. 
ch. 41.8. Sc 
43. 1. 

Jer. 30. 10. & 
46. 27, 28. 
bch. 43. 1, 7. 
c Deut. 32. 15. 
d ch. 35. 7. 
Joel 2. 28. 
John 7. 38. 
Acts 2. 18. 

e ver. 24. 
ch. 43. 1, 14. 
f ch. 41.4. & 
48. 12. 

Rev. 1.8, 17. 
&22. 13. 

Rch. 41.4, 22. 
&45. 21. 

28 Therefore " I have profaned the 1| princes of the sanctuary, 
p And have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches. 

XLIV. ^ Yet now hear, ^ Jacob my servant ; 
And Israel, whom I have chosen : 

2 Thus saith the Lord that made thee, 

^ And formed thee from the womb, which will help thee ; 

Fear not, Jacob, my servant ; 

And thou, " Jesurun, whom I have chosen. 

3 For I will "^ pour water upon him that is thirsty, 
And floods upon the dry ground : 

I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, 

And my blessing upon thine offspring ; 
"^ And they shall spring up as among the grass. 

As willows by the water courses ; 
^ One shall say, I am the Lord's ; 

And another shall call himself by the name of Jacob ; 

And another shall subscribe ivith his hand unto the Lord, 

And surname himself by the name of Israel. 
^ Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, 

^ And his redeemer the Lord of hosts ; 

*^I am the first, and I am the last ; 

And beside me there is no God. 
7 And ^ who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, 

Since I appointed the ancient people ? 

And the things that are coming, and shall come. 

Let them shew unto them. 
^ Fear ye not, neither be afraid : '' have I not told thee from that time, and 
have declared it ? 

(4) But the expression is a general one, and may best be 
explained by the phrase in Ezekiel (xvi. 3), " Thy birth and thy 
nativity is of the land of Canaati ; thy father was an Amorite, 
and thy mother an Hittite " (cp. v. 45 there). That is, Thon, 
O Israel, hast apostatized from the faith of Abraham and Sarah ; 
thou hast disinherited thyself; and hast taken an Amorite for 
thy father, and a Hittite for thy mother, and hast made thyself 
to become their children, — by thy sins. 

We make Abraham to be our father, by treading in the 
steps oi' \\\ii faith, as St. Paul teaches (Gal. iii. 7) ; and we make 
Satan himself to be our fiither by doing the works of the devil, 
as our Lord said, " Ye are of your father, the devil, and the 
lusts o? your father ye will do" (John viii. 44). 

28. Therefore I have profaned the princes of fhe sanctuary'] 
The Priests of the Temple and Rulers of Jerusalem. Their own 
sin is the cause of their misery and desolation even to this day. 
Cp. below, Ixiii. 18 ; Ixiv. 11. 

Geacious Invitation to Iseaei. 

Ch. XLIV. 2. Jesurun] Literally, a righteous one ; the name 
given to Israel, as justified by God. The use of this name carries 
the thoughts back to the patriarchal times of Israel's zeal for 
God. See Deut. xxxii. 15; xxxiii. 5. 26. 

3. I will pour water upon liim that is thirsty] I will pour 
out the living water of the Spirit upon all the Israel of God 
who thirst for it. Cp. xli. 17, 18 ; Iv. 1. John vii. 37—39. 
Acts ii. 16. 

4. As willoivs] A joyful contrast to the melancholy ivillotus 
by the waters of Babylon, on which the exiles of Judah hung 
their harps in sorrow. See Ps. cxxxvii. 2. These willotos, of 
which the Prophet now speaks, are like the festive willows of 
the joyful solemnity of Tabernacles (Lev. xxiii. 40). 

5. One shall say— another— another] The Prophet adopts 
the language of Ps. 87, whore the demonstrative pronoun {zeh), 
" this man," is repeated thrice, as here, and points to the 


number of believers, whom the Psalmist sees springing up one 
after another in all parts of the world, and acknowledging 
Jehovah as their God, and dwelling together in unity in the 
Zion of the Universal Church. Cp. Heb. xii. 22. That Psalm, 
the 87th, is the best comment on this prophecy. 

— another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Loed] 
Shall inscribe himself with his hand " to Jehovah," i. e. dedi- 
cated to Him. Cp. Gal. vi. 17, where St. Paul says, " I bear 
in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus;" and note below, 
on Rev. xiii. 18, where it is shown that servants were inscribed 
with the names of their master, and soldiers inscribed them- 
selves with the names of their general, and votaries of deities 
with the names of their god. 

— And surname himself by the name of Israel] Shall adopt 
a surname, derived from Israel, not from any worldly act or 
privilege. Heathen conquerors derived their names from the 
countries they conquered, and entitled themselves Africani, 
Asiatiei, Achaici, &c. ; but the converts to Christ derive their 
surnames from their religious prerogatives. Simon is surnamed 
Cephas, or Peter ; James and John are surnamed Boanerges : 
Levi is called Matthew ; on account of their relation to Cheist. 
Who is the Divine Israel, — and loves the Church as His own 
Body, — and gives His Name to all His people. 

6. I am the first — and I am the last] The title adopted by 
Christ in the Apocalypse (Rev. i. 8. 17 ; xxii. 13). 

7. The ancient people] Rather, the eternal people ; lite- 
rally, the people of eternity (Heb. am 61dm : cp Sept. here), 
the visible Church of God, existing in Adam, Abel, Seth, Noah, 
Abraham, David, with whom God made an everlasting covenant 
(2 Sam. xxiii. 5), berith olam, as He did with Noah (Gen.ix. 16), 
and Abraham (Gen. xvii. 7), and to whom He promised eternal 
continuance, and an eternal kingdom in Cheist, in Whom all 
who believe are admitted into an everlasting covenant (Iv. 3), 
and are loved with everlasting kindness (liv. 8), and have a 
sure title to everlasting salvation. Cp. xxiv. 5 ; xlv. 17. In 
all these passages the word 6lam is used^ 

" Ye are My ivitnesses." 


The vanity of idols. 

' Ye are even my witnesses. 

Is there a God beside me ? 

Yea, ^ there is no f God ; I know not any. 
^ ' They that make a graven image are all of them vanity ; 

And their f delectable things shall not profit ; 

And they are their own witnesses ; 

■" They see not, nor know ; that they may be ashamed. 
^^ Who hath formed a god, 

Or molten a graven image " that is profitable for nothing ? 
^^ Behold, all his fellows shall be "ashamed : 

And the workmen, they are of men : 

Let them all be gathered together, let them stand up ; 

Yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together. 
^2 p The smith !|with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it 
with hammers. 

And worketh it with the strength of his arms : 

Yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth : 

He drinketh no water, and is faint ; 
'^ The carpenter stretcheth out his rule ; he marketh it out with a line ; 

He fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, 

And maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of 
a man ; 

That it may remain in the house. 
^^ He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak. 

Which he |1 strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest : 

He planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it. 
^^ Then shall it be for a man to burn : 

For he mil take thereof, and warm himself ; 

Yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread ; 

Yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it ; 

He maketh it a graven image, and faileth down thereto ; 
^^ He burneth part thereof in the' fire ; 

With part thereof he eateth flesh, he roasteth roast, and is satisfied ; 

Yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire : 
^^ And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image > 

He faileth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith. 

Deliver me ; for thou art my god. 
*• They have not known nor understood : 





ich. 43. 10, 12. 

k Deut. 4. 35, 39, 

85 32. 39. 

1 Sam. 2. 2. 

2 Sam. 22. 32. 
ch. 45. 5. 

t Heb. rock, 
Deut. 32. 4. 
1 ch.4I. 24, 29. 
t Heb. desirable. 
m Ps. 115.4, &c. 

n Jer. 10. 5. 
Hab. 2. 18. 
o Ps. 97. 7. 
ch. 1. 29. & 
42. 17. &45. IG. 

p ch. 40. 19. & 

41. 6. 

Jer. 10. 3, &c. 

II Or, with an 


II Or, takeih 


q ch. 45. 20. 

The Vanity of Idols. 

8. Yea, there is no Ood'] Literally, there is no Mock beside 
Me; I know not any, — a strong argument against the assump- 
tion of the title of Rock by any mortal man. See below, on 
Matt. xvi. 18; and cp. 2 Sam. xxii. 32: "Who Is Ood, save 
the Lord ? And TFTio is a Rock, save our God ? " 

9. They that make a graven image are all of them vanity'] 
In the shock of revolutions, and ruins of empires, Sion is safe, 
because it is founded on a Eock, and has the Lord for its God; 
but Babylon, and all who trust in idols, although they may 
seem to prosper for a time, are built on the sand, and will be 
swept away by the storm, 

— they are their oicn zvifnesses'] "Ye are My witnesses" 
(see V. 8); but the idols of Baby Ion. bear witness to their own 
vanity, by their blindnesu and ignorance, and by their inability 
to help their worshippers. Babylon was taken by Cyrus, and 
its King and nobles were destroyed, when it was engaged on a 

religious anniversary, worshipping its gods, and profaning the 
sacred vessels of Jehovah, 

11, Ms fellows'] Its fellows; the worshippers of the idol, 

12, The smith ivith the tongs loth worketh in the coals] The 
artificer of iron (is) a cutter — Heb, maatsad, which is used in 
Jer, X, 3, a parallel place to the present, and is there translated 
an axe, Cp, Fuerst, 848, The workman is regarded here as 
an instrument for cutting ; or it may mean, he takes a sharp 

As to the sense generally, see above, xl. 19, 20. 

13. a line] So Kimchi, or it may mean a sharp stylus (Rashl, 
Gesen., Fuerst). 

14. cypress] Or, pine (Saadiah and Vitringa), holm oak 
(Fuerst and Delitzsch). Its etymology bespeaks it to be a 
hard timber-tree, 

— ash] So T'ltringa and others. It is rendered pine bjr 
Oesen. 80; and so Yulg. 

s 2 

Jerusalem shall he rebuilt. 

ISAIAH XLIV. 19—27. 

The streams shall he dried. 

r2 Thess. 2. II. 
t Heb. daubed. 
t Heb. settetk to 
his heart, 
s ih. 46. 8. 

i Heb. that 
which comes of 
a tree { 

t Hos. 4. 12. 
Rom. 1. 21. 
2 Thess. 2. U. 

u ver. I, 2. 

X ch. 43. 25. 

y ch.43. I. & 

48. 20. 

1 Cor. 6. 20. 
1 Pet. 1. 18, 19. 
z Ps. 69. 34. & 
96. 11, 12. 
ch. 42. 10. & 

49. 13. 
Jer. 51. 48. 
Rev. 18. 20. 

ach. 43. 14. 
ver. 6. 

bch. 43. I. 

c Job 9. 8. 
Ps. 104. 2. 
ch. 40. 22. & 
42. 5. & 45. 12. 
& 51. 13. 
d ch. 47. 13. 
e Jer. 50. 36. 

f 1 Cor. I. 20. 
g Zeeh. 1. 6. 

t Heb. wastes. 

h See Jer. 50. 38. 
& 51. 32, 36. 

For ' he hath f shut then* eyes, that they cannot see ; 

And their hearts, that they cannot understand. 
'^ And none f ' considereth in his heart. 

Neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, 

I have burned part of it in the fire ; 

Yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; 

I have roasted flesh, and eaten it : 

And shall I make the residue thereof an abomination ? 

Shall I fall down to f the stock of a tree ? 
2^ He feedeth on ashes : 

^ A deceived heart hath turned him aside. 

That he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, 

Is there not a lie in my right hand ? 
2^ Remember these, Jacob and Israel ; 

For "thou art my servant : 

I have formed thee, thou art my servant ; 

Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me ; 
'^■" " I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions. 

And, as a cloud, thy sins : 

Return unto me, for ^I have redeemed thee. 
^ Sing, ye heavens ; for the Lord hath done it : 

Shout, ye lower parts of the earth : 

Break forth into singing, ye mountains, 

forest, and every tree therein : 
For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, 
And glorified himself in Israel. 

Thus saith the Lord, "^ thy redeemer, 
And '' he that formed thee from the womb, 

1 am the Lord that maketh all things ; 

" That stretcheth forth the heavens alone ; 

That spreadeth abroad the earth by myself ; 
^^ That "^ frustrateth the tokens ^ of the liars, 

And maketh diviners mad ; 

That turneth wise men backward, 

'^And maketh their knowledge foolish ; 
^^ ^ That confirmeth the word of his servant, 

And performeth the counsel of his messengers ; 

That saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited ; 

And to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, 

And I will raise up the f decayed places thereof : 
^^ '' That saith to the deep, Be dry. 



18. he hath shut their eyes'] Literally, hath smeared them 
over, as with clay. See the use of this verb (tuach) in Lev. 
xiv. 42, 43. Ezek. xiii. 10—15. Hence the act of our Blessed 
Lord, in opening the eyes of the blind by means of clay smeared 
on his eyes, is more remarkable. See below, on John ix. 6. 

20- ^e feedeth on ashes'] This was literally true. The vanity 
of his idol had been proved, by part of it being burned and 
reduced to ashes {v. 19). 

22. / have blotted out — sins] As speedily as the wind sweeps 
away the thick clouds (that which wraps the sky in a dark 
mantle, and intercepts the view of the heavens, Oesen. 698. 
609), so do I drive away thy transgressions, which make a 
separation between thee and Me (lis. 2) ; yea, and thy sins, 
even as a light cloud : — 

"Albus ut obscure deterget nubila coelo 
Saepe Notus." (Horat. i. Od. vii. 15.) 

25. the liars] The false prophets. 

— diviners] Such as the Chaldean astrologers (xlvii. 13. 
Dan. v. 8). 

26. of his servant] The true Prophet. Cp. xx, 3. 

— the counsel of Ms messengers] The predictions of the 
Prophets of God, which had a hortatory character. It is said 
by Josephus (Ant. xi. 1, 2), that when Cyrus read this prophecy, 
he was impelled by it to restore the Jews to their own land. 

The Rivee Eupheates deied up. 

27. to the deep] It was God Wlio put it into the heart of 


ISAIAH XLIV. 28. XLV. 1, 2. 

God leads him. 

And I will dry up thy rivers : 
2^ That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, 

And shall perform all my pleasure : 

Even saying to Jerusalem, ' Thou shalt be built ; 

And to the temple. Thy foundation shall be laid. 
XLV. * Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, 

Whose ^ right hand I || have holden, ^ to subdue nations before him ; 

And I will loose the loins of kings. 

To open before him the two leaved gates ; 

And the gates shall not be shut ; 
2 I will go before thee, 

'^ And make the crooked places straight : 

•* I will break in pieces the gates of brass. 





i 2 Chron. 36. 22, 


Ezra 1. 1, &c. 

ch. 45. 13. 

ach. 41. 13. 
II Or, alretigtk- 

b ch. 41. 2. 
Dan. 5. 30. 

c ch. 40. 4. 
d Ps. 107. 16. 

Cyrus to dry up the river of Babylon. He said " to the depth," 
or whirlpool of Euphrates, " Be thou dried up " by Cyrus. Cp. 
Jer. 1. 38; li. 31, 32. 36, where this prophecy of the drying up 
of the deep waters of the Euphrates, which were turued aside 
into the basin of Sepharvaim, to make a passage for the army 
of Cyrus on foot in its bed, is more fully developed ; and see 
above, on .\xi. 1—9. 

Cteus AifD Cheist. 

28. Ct/rus] On the name and acts of Cyrus, see note above, 
on 2 Chron. xxxvi. 22 (where the reader is requested to correct 
the typographical error, " two hundred and forty years " into 
" one hundred and forty years before his birth "). Divine Pro- 
phecy in the Old Testament specifics by name four persons 
before their birth, — Isaac, Solomon, Josiah, and Cyrus. See 
Dn 1 Kings xiii. 2. " Of God's own People but few were called 
by their names before they were imposed by men. This is the 
prerogative of such as were types of the true Emmanuel ;" 
Dean Jackson on the Creed, Book vi. pt. ii., chap, xxvi., 
where is an excellent commentary on this history of Cyrus, of 
whom he says, " The Lord of Hosts was the Archer, and Cyrus 
the bow 'in His hands;' therefore all arrows shot by him 
against Babylon must reach their mark." 

It has been supposed by some recent learned expositors (as 
Hcivernick, ELnleit. ii. 2, p. 165 ; Sengstenherg, Christol. p. 193), 
that Cyrus (i. e. Koresh), which signifies a Sun, was an official 
name of Persian kings; and that Cyrus, who had originally 
another name, Agradates (see on xlv. 4), assumed this name 
when he ascended the throne ; and that perhaps he was induced 
to adopt this title, in consequence of the prophecies of Isaiah, 
with which, as Josephus asserts (Ant. xi. 1. 1), he was ac- 
quainted, and which exercised great influence on his mind and 

That a great conqueror, like Cyrus, — who in his moral 
virtues, and exemption from idolatry (cp. W. Loioth, on Jer. 
1. 38, Dean Jackson on the Creed), and in his ascription of all 
the glory of his victories to God (see Ezra i. 1 — 3), stands in 
striking contrast to Sennacherib, the great Assyrian monarch, 
who magnified himself as the author of all his successes, and 
who blasphemed the God of Israel (2 Kings xix. 22 — 24), and 
to Nebuchadnezzar, who said, " Is not this great Babylon, 
that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the 
might of My power, and for the honour of My majesty ? " 
(Dan. iv. 30), and to Belshazzar, who profaned the holy vessels 
of God, and praised his gods of gold, at the great feast of his 
idol (Dan. v. 3), — should have been specified by name more than 
a century and a half before his conquest of Babylon, and that 
his acts should have been described by the voice of the God 
of Israel, in the prophecies dehvered by Isaiah at Jerusalem, 
and preserved in the public custody of the Hebrew Nation, 
was a providential dispensation, well worthy of God, inasmuch 
as it afforded clear evidence of His own Omniscience and Omni- 
potence, — on which He insists in these prophecies, — as con- 
trasted with the ignorance and imbecility of the gods which 
the heathen nations worshipped ; and would therefore be very 
conducive to the diff'usion of the Truth in all the provinces of 
the Persian Empire, and would conciliate the favour of the 
Persian kings to the People of God. Cp. xlv. 6. It would also 
prove to the Jews, that their deliverance from Babylon, and 
restoration to Jerusalem, were not the results of accident, 
much less of the agency of idols (see xlviii. 5), and were not 

due to Cyrus himself acting independently, but to the God of 
their fathers, eniploying Cyrus, the great King and Conqueror, 
as His instrument to work out His purposes. 

S. Jerome suggests another reason why God called Cyrus 
by name before his birth, viz. that he might not be supposed 
to be the Messiah, to whom he bore a resemblance, and of whom 
he was a type. See also another reason in the note on xlv. 1, 

The supposition, that the prophecies of Isaiah and Daniel 
were known to Persian kings, affords a solution of many pro- 
blems in Persian history. See above. Introductions to the 
Book of Ezra, p. 300 ; and to the Book of Esther, p. 365, note ; 
and cp, Vifringa, p. 496. 

The titles here given by God to Cyrus, more than a 
century before his birth, — "My Shepiherd, who shall perform 
all My pleasure," " Mine Anointed, whose right hand I have 
holden, to subdue nations before him" (xlv. 1),— and his acts 
in overthrowing the idolatrous power of Babylon, and in 
delivering God's people from Captivity, and restoring them to 
Jerusalem, and in rebuilding God's house there, and in giving 
back the holy vessels to it, point out Cyrus to those who have 
the New Testament in their hands, as a type of Him, Who is 
there described as the Good Shepherd, the Anointed (Messiah, 
or Christ), as Prophet, Priest, and King, Who came into the 
world to do His Father's will, and in Whom the Father is 
well pleased, and Whom the Father upholds, and in Whom 
His soul delights (xlii. 1), and to Whom the Father has given 
all power, and put all things under His feet, and Who delivers 
His people from the Babylon of spiritual bondage, and restores 
them to their home in God's presence and favour, and rebuilds 
the Temple of Human Nature, that had fallen down, and con- 
secrates it into a Church Universal, and recovers its sacred 
vessels, and dedicates them anew to God. See on 2 Chron. 
xxxvi. 22 ; and on Ezra i. 1 — 7 ; and A Lapide, on xlv. 1, 

— Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built ; and to the temple, Thy 
foundation shall be laid] The City of Jerusalem was first built, 

then the Temple, twenty-one years after the edict of Cyrus ; and, 
last of all, the Walls of the city, ninety-two years after the edict. 
See Introd. to Ezra, p. 295. The building of the Temple 
would have been frustrated, if the edict of Cyrus, which was 
lost for a time, had not been discovered in a remarkable manner. 
See Ezra iv., v.; and vi. 1, 2. 


Ch. xlv. 1. his anointed — Cyrus"] See on xliv. 28. Some 
ancient MSS. of the Sept. seem to have had Kupi'y li^re for Kupij). 
See S. Barnab., Ep. c. 12. 

— I will loose the loitis] See Job xii. 21. 

— the two leaved gates'] Folding doors, double gates of 
cities {Oesen. 200). " Let us read the eight books oi Xenophon 
on the history of Cyrus, and we shall see there the fulfilment 
of the prophecy of Isaiah. What city's gates did not open to 
him? What king was not made subject to him? 'I,' says 
God, ' will go before thee, that thou mayest know Me, especially 
when thou seest thine own name mentioned by Me long before 
thy birth.' We are informed by Josephus that Cyrus read 
this prophecy of Isaiah, and was therefore so favourable to the 
Jews" {S. Jerome). 

2. gates of brass] As those of the walls of Babylon, a hundred 
in number, are described by Herod, (i. 179). Also the gates 
leading from the streets to the river were of brass {Rerod. 
i. 180). 

The conquests of Cyrus 

ISAIAH XLV. 3—11. 

due to the God of Israel. 





ech. 41. 23. 
fExod. .33.12, 17. 
ch. 43. 1. & 49. 1. 

g ch. 44. 1. 

h 1 Thess. 4. 5. 

i Deut. 4. 35, 39. 

& 32. 39. 

ch. 44. 8. & 

46. 9. 

kver. 14, 18, 21, 


1 Ps. 18. 32, 39. 

m Ps. 102. 15. 

ch. 37. 20. 

Mai. 1. 11. 

n Amo3 3. C. 

o Ps. 72. 3. & 
85. 11. 

pch. 64. 8. 

qch. 29. 16. 
Jer. 18. 6. 
Rom. 9. 20. 

r Jer. 31. 9. 
6 Isa. 29. 23. 

And cut in sunder the bars of iron : 
3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, 

And hidden riches of secret places, 

^ That thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which ' call thee by thy name, 
am the God of Israel. 
^ For ^ Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, 

I have even called thee by thy name : 

I have surnamed thee, though thou hast ^ not known me. 
^ I ' am the Loed, and " there is none else, there is no God beside me : 

' I girded thee, though thou hast not known me : 
^ ■" That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, 

That there is none beside me. 

I am the Lord, and there is none else. 
7 1 form the light, and create darkness : 

I make peace, and " create evil : I the Lord do all these things. 
^ ° Drop down, ye heavens, from above. 

And let the skies pour down righteousness : 

Let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation. 

And let righteousness spring up together ; 

I the Lord have created it. 
^ Woe unto him that striveth with ^ his Maker ! 

Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. 

•1 Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou ? 

Or thy work. He hath no hands ? 
1^ Woe unto him that saith unto his father. What begettest thou ? 

Or to the woman. What hast thou brought forth ? 
^^ Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, 

Ask me of things to come concerning "■ my sons. 

And concerning ' the work of my hands command ye me ; 

3. treasures of darkness^ Hoarded in secret places, as the 
riches of Croesus (conquered by Cyrus), and of Babylon were. 
Cp. Jer. 1. 37 ; li. 13. 

— That thou mayest know that I — am the God of Israel'} 
Rather, that thou mayest know that I, the LoED, TPlio call 
thee hy thy name, the God of Israel, am God alone (see v. 5), 
which explains and completes this verse. Cyrus did not require 
to be told that the Lord (Jehovah) was the God of Israel. 
All the heathen knew this; but he and they needed to be 
taught that the Lord God of Israel was the only God, and that 
all the gods whom the heathen worshipped were vanity. 

4. For Jacob my servant's sake} The conquests of Cyrus 
are declared by God Himself to be divinely ordered for the 
good of His People. The destinies of Empires are appointed 
by Him, with a view to His own future glory in the salvation 
of His Church. Here is the key to all history, and here is the 
encouragement of faith, in the worst times. 

— I have surnamed thee} I have given thee the name 
Cyrus {Koresh), as a surname. The original name of Cyrus is 
said to have been Agradates (Strabo, xv. 3. 6). 

— thou hast not knotvn me} That is, before thou kneioest 
Me (Syriac, Arabic^. Cyrus knew the Lord afterwards, and 
declared his reverence for Him. See Ezra i. 1, 2. 

5. lamthe Loed — beside me} Rather, /, the Lord (J ehoYah), 
am God, and none else beside life is God. 

6. Zam the Loud, and there is none else} Rather, I, the 
Lord (Jehovah), and none else am God. 

7. I form the light, and create darkness} Do not, therefore, 
suppose, with Zoroaster and the Persian Magians, that there 
are two co-ordinate, independent, and antagonistic principles 
(Ormuzd, and Ahriman) in the creation and government of the 
world. See on Gen. i. 1; and Bp. Pearson on the Creed, 
Art. i. p. 6J^, note; Plutarch, De Iside, p. 369; Stanley, De 


Phil. Orient, ii. 6 ; Hyde, De Relig. Vet. Pers. c. 22, quoted 
by Vitringa, p. 496. 

8. Drop down} A shower of blessings is the gracious fruit 
of God's Omnipotence. 

9. Woe unto him} This is an anticipation of an objection 
from Israel : — If Thou, O Lord, art our Father, why are we 
in captivity at Babylon ? And it is a remonstrance against 
those who murmured against God for their punishment, instead 
of being penitent for the sins which caused it. 

— Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it} See above, 
xxix. 16 ; below, Ixiv. 8 : " Lord, we are the clay, and Thou 
our potter;" and Jer. xviii. 6; and Rom. ix. 20, 21. 

10. to the ivoman} Here is a second warning. Woe to the 
child who says to his father, "What begettest thou?" Woe 
to the husband who says to the woman his wife, " What hast 
thou brought forth ? " The murmurers against God are not 
only like children who repine against their father, and censure 
him for his offspring ; but they are like a husband who blames 
his wife for his own children by her. 

The woman is rendered his mother by Sept., and so 
Vitringa; but the other sense seems preferable. The Jews 
were guilty of folly and irreverence in blaming God for their 
Captivity, which was a child of their own begetting by their 

11. Ask me — command ye me} Ask Me lohat is to co7ne, 
concerning My sons, and concerning the work of My hands, 
command ye Me. This latter clause is either ironical, or in- 
to-rrogative. Ask Me what is to come. By all means, because 
I alone can reveal it; but then, since I thus prove Myself 
to be God, will you, who are potsherds of earth, presume to 
dictate to Me what I ought to do with My own creatures, and 
with My own children ? 

He is the Creator of all. 

ISAIAH XLV. 12—18. The fruits of God's acts by Cyrus, 


^'"■^ ' I have made the earth, and " created man upon it 
I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens. 
And "" all their host have I commanded. 

^ I have raised him up in righteousness. 
And I will jl direct all his ways : 
He shall ^ build my city, 
And he shall let go my captives, 
' Not for price nor reward, 
Saith the Lord of hosts. 




t ch. 42. 5. 
Jer. 27. 5. 
u Gen. 1. 26, 27. 
X Gen. 2. 1. 
y ch. 41. 2. 
11 Or, 7nake 
z 2 Chron. 36. 
22, 23. 

Ezra 1. 1, &c. 
ch. 44. 2S. 
a ch. 52. 3. 
See Rora. 3. 24. 

^^ Thus saith the Lord, ""The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia & 

And of the Sabeans, men of stature. 

Shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine : 

They shall come after thee ; "" in chains they shall come over. 

And they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee. 

Saying, '^ Surely God is in thee ; and ^ there is none else, there is no God. 
^^ Verily thou art a God ^ that hidest thyself, God of Israel, the Saviour. 
They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them : 

They shall go to confusion together that are ^ makers of idols. 

'■ But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation : 

Ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end. 
For thus saith the Lord ' that created the heavens ; 

God himself that formed the earth and made it ; 

He hath established it, he created it not in vain, 

He formed it to be inhabited : 

^ I am the Lord : and there is none else. 

ch. 49. 23. & 
60. 9, 10, 14, 16. 
Zech. 8. 22, 23. 

c Ps. H9. 8. 

d I Cor. 14. 2.'i. 
e ver. 5. 
f Ps. 44. 24. 
ch. 8. 17. & 
57. 17. 

gch.44. 11. 

h ch. 26. 4. 
ver. 25. 
Rom. 11.26. 

i ch. 42. 5. 

k ver. 5. 

Peomise of eebuilding of Jerusalem: by the in- 


13, I have raised him up\ Cyrus. On the verb here used 
in the original, see xli. 2. 

— Se shall build my city'] See xliv. 28. This was fulfilled 
in a wonderful manner. See the particulars (Neb. i. 3; iv. 

14. The labour (or, productions') of ^gypt — Ethiopia — 
Sabeans — shall be thine^ This is connected as a consequence 
with the success of the arms of Cyrus, and the extension of the 
power of Persia. The attention of the wise men of Egypt, 
and of the tall and robust warriors of Ethiopia had been already 
attracted to Jerusalem, and their homage had been paid to 
the God of Israel, in the days of Hezekiah, by reason of God's 
merciful deliverance of Jerusalem, and on account of the 
marvellous overthrow of Sennacherib's victorious army at the 
walls of Jerusalem. Many of them were brought thereby 
to acknowledge the supremacy of Jehovah, and to confess the 
vanity of their own deities, which could not save them. See 
above, xviii. 7 ; xix. 23. 

The manner in which succeeding events, especially the con- 
quests of Cyrus, and other Persian kings, exercised an influence 
over Egj'pt, and other countries, by the destruction of their idols, 
and by the weakening of their national trust in the protection of 
their deities and in the wisdom of their magicians, prepared the 
way for the reception of the Truth (sec on xix. 3, 4), and fulfilled 
the prophecies which foretold their conversion (Ps. Ixviii. 31 ; 
Ixxii. 10, 11. Zeph. iii. 10). With regard to the mission of 
Persia, in the destruction of idolatry, see further below, on xlvi. 1. 
No Nation was more addicted to idolatry, and worshipped more 
portentous and monstrous forms of it than Egypt; and there- 
fore its subjection to the God of Israel is one of the noblest 
trophies of the victory of His Truth (;S. Jerome). 

— Saheans, men of slaiure'\ See above, on xviii. 2, where 
the Ethiopians are characterized by their stature. The Sabeans 
of Western Arabia were celebrated by ancient authors for their 
tallness. See Bochart, Geogr. Sacr. iv. 8 ; Phaleg. ii. 26 ; 
Vitringa, 502; Stier, 189. 


— in chains'] Spiritual chains of faith and love. See above 
on Ps. cxlix. 8. 

— Surely God is in thee] Words adopted by St. Paul, and 
applied to the Christian Church (1 Cor. xiv. 24, 25). 

15. a God that hidest thyself] In the inscrutable mysteries 
of Thy dealings with men and nations, especially Thine own 
people (Rom. xi. 33). 

16. makers of idols] The domination of Cyrus and of Persia 
conduced greatly to the overthi'ow of Idolatry at Babylon, and 
in other countries, and so prepared the way for the preaching 
and recejition of the true Religion. See on v. 14. 

17. toorld without end] Everlastingly. The word {61am) 
of the former clause is repeated : " Ye who trust in God shall 
be saved with everlasting salvation, and not (like those who 
trust in lying vanities) be condemned with everlasting con- 
demnation." Our Blessetl Lord seems to have had this sentence 
in His mind when, repeating the same word. He said that the 
wicked should go into everlasting punishment, and the righteous 
into life everlasting (Matt. xxv. 46). 

18. he created it not in vain] Rather, He did not create 
(Heb. bara) it a ruin (Heb. thohu). The Earth was not created 
originally in a ruined condition ; but after its creation it was 
ruined by an evil power ; and then God restored it in its present 

This is an important statement with regard to the history 
of the formation of the Earth as it now is. That formation was 
a restoration. "In the beginning" (in ages of ages before that 
formation) " God created the heavens and the Earth ;" but 
afterwards the Earth became a ruin (Heb. thohu va bohu) by 
the agency of some evil powers ; and God brought the Earth 
forth from the womb of that dark fragmentary chaos, in which 
it lay submerged beneath the waters, and formed it in its pre- 
sent condition. See above, on Gen. i. 1, 2. 

It is here asserted by God Himself that He, Jehovah, 
the God of Israel, is the Elohim, Who created the World. 
See on Gen. ii. 4. 

The connexion with the ai'gumeut is this. Israel may be 
brought into captivity ; but this is no direct design of God's 
providence : it is the consequence of Israel's sin. But Israel 
may be restored from their ruined condition, as the Earth was. 

Come, Israel, to Me. ISAIAH XLV. 19—25. XL VI. 1. Come all to God, in Christ. 


IBeut. 30. 11. 
ch. 48. 16. 
m Ps. 19. 8. & 
119. 137, 138. 

nch. 44. 17, IS, 
19. &46. 7. & 
48. 7. 
Rom. 1.22, 23. 

och. 41. 22. & 
43. 9. &44. 7. & 
46. 10. & 48. 14. 

p ver. .5, 14, 18. 

ch. 44. 8. & 

46. 9. & 48. 3, &c. 

q Ps.22. 27. 
& 65. 5. 

r Gen. 22. 10. 
Ueb. 6. 13. 

s Rom. 14. 11. 
Phil. 2. 10. 
t Gen. 31. 53. 
Deut. 6. 13. 
Ps 63. 11. 
ch. 65. 16. 
II Or, Surelij he 
shiill say nf vie. 
In the LORD is 
all righleousneia 
and strenytk. 
u Jer, 23. 5. 
1 Cor. 1. 30. 
t Heb. riyhleous- 
n esses. 

xch. 41. 11. 
y ver. 1 7. 
z 1 Cor. 1. 31. 
ach. 21.9. Jer. 

^^ I have not spoken in ' secret, in a dark place of the earth : 

I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain : 

'" I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. 
^° Assemble yourselves and come ; 

Draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations : 

" They have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, 

And pray unto a god that cannot save. 
21 Tell ye, and bring them near ; 

Yea, let them take counsel together : 

° Who hath declared this from ancient time ? 

Who hath told it from that time ? 

Have not I the Lord ? 

p And there is no God else beside me ; 

A just God and a Saviour ; there is none beside me. 
-^ '' Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth : 

For I am God, and there is none else. 
23 "■ I have sworn by myself, 

The word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, 

That unto me every ' knee shall bow, 

* Every tongue shall swear ; 
2^ II Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I " f righteousness and strength : 

Even to him shall men come ; 

And "all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. 
2^ ^ In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and ^ shall glory. 
XLVI. 1 Bel ^ boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, 

Their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle : 

Your carriages ivere heavy loaden ; 

50. 2. &5I. 44. 

19. in secref] Like the dark caves of the oracles of the gods 
of the heathen, such as the cave of Trophonius at Lehadea, or 
of Apollo at Delphi, or the mysteries of Eleusis. The contrast 
is in xlviii. 16 ; and in our Lord's words, " I spake openly to the 
World, and in secret have I said nothing" (John xviii. 20). 

— in vain] Heh. tkohu. He repeats the word of the former 
clause. God makes nothing to be tkohu (vanity and confusion), 
and He does not command any to seek Him thohu, i. e. to their 
own vanity and confusion, so as to be a wreck and ruin, as the 
false gods of the heathen do (see xliv. 9), where He says that 
they that make a graven image are all of them vanity {thohu). 
Cp. the use of this word xl. 17. 23 ; xlix. 4; lix. 4. 

20. Assemhle yourselves] Gather yourselves, O Israel, to- 
gether, and return to Jerusalem (see the edict of Cyrus, Ezra 
i. 1 — 4). And much more, in a spiritual sense, Come ye to- 
gether, all ye Israel of God, in Christ (Matt. xi. 28). See what 

22. Look unto me, and he ye saved, all the ends of the earth] 
Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, that all the 
Israelites who looked at it from any part of the camp might be 
healed; Christ is lifted up on the Cross, that whosoever looks 
at Him with faith from the ends of the earth, may be saved 
(John iii. 14, 15). " If I be lifted up from the earth " (He 
Bays), "I will draw all men unto Me" (John xii. 32; cp. 
Ps. xxii. 27, — a Passion-Psalm) : " All the ends of the earth 
shall turn unto the Lord, and all the kindreds of the nations 
shall worship before Him." 

23. unto one every knee shall how] Words applied by St. 
P.ul to Christ (Phil. ii. 9—11. Rom. xiv. 9—11), and thus 
showing His Divinity. See also Justin Martyr, Apol. i. 52. 

25. all the seed of Israel] The Israel of God is all the 
haman race; the Church of the literal Israel extended and 
expanded to the ends of the earth, so as to enfold all believers 
in Christ, the promised Seed of Abraham, and all who adore 
and bless the God of Israel for His mercies in Him. Every 
tongue of all Nations will worship Christ, not in the Syna- 
gogues of the Jews, but in the Christian Church. And all who 

are the true Israel of God, and have sprouted from the seed 
sown by the Apostles, and believe in Christ, will have everlast- 
ing righteousness and glory {S. Jerome, Vitringa). 

The Fall op the Idols of BABTiiON. 

Ch. XLVI. 1. Bel—JSTebo] Compare Jer. 1. 2, " Babylon is 
taken, Jiel is confounded, llerodach is broken in pieces; her 
idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces." £el, 
Nebo, and Merodach were principal deities of Babylon. 
Nebuchadnezzar thus begins a document, still extant, which 
describes his buildings at Babylon : — " Nabuchodonosor, King 
of Babylon, the elect of Merodach, the supreme lord, the adorer 
of Neho. ... I have restored the sanctuaries of the god ; for 
Merodach is the great god who created me, and I have glorified 
all his great works : Nebo, his son, sustains my royalty, and 
I have alway exalted the worship of his august divinity. Nebo, 
the guardian of the hosts of heaven and earth, has committed 
to me the sceptre of justice to govern men. Imgour Bel and 
Nivit Bel are the fortifications which surround Babylon. 
Nahopallassar, King of Babylon, my father, began them, but 
did not complete their magnificence " {Oppert, Inscription de 
Nabuchodonosor, pp. 15. 21. Rheims, 1866). This inscription 
was found at Hillah, in 1862, by Sir Hartford Jones, and thence 
passed into the collection of the East India Company. It is now 
in the British Museum. It is engraved on a block of black 
basalt, in ten columns, making 620 lines. 

Some have supposed that the Temple of Belu.s, described 
by Herodotus (i. 181 — 183), stood at Birs-Nimroud, which 
has also been identified with the Tower of Babel. But this 
site seems too far from the royal palace ; and it is more pro- 
bable that the temple stood at the Babil mount, on the east 
side of the Euphrates, a little to the north of the Kasr, or 
palace. Eawlinson, Anc. Mon., iii. 339. 358. 368—372. It 
may be truly said, that " Bel hotveth down ;" bis Temple, once 
the wonder of the world, has sunk so low into a confused chaos 
of ruins, that topographers cannot decide what its site was. 

— Tour carriages were heavy loaden] Rather, your golden 

Folly and sin of idolatrij. 


God icill call Cyrus. 

^ They are a burden to the weary beast ; 
- They stoop, they bow do^vn together ; 
They could not deliver the burden, 

" But f themselves are gone into captivity. 
^ Hearken unto me, house of Jacob, 

And all the remnant of the house of Israel, 

** Which are borne hy me from the belly, 

Which are carried from the womb : 
^ And even to ijoii.r old age ^ I am he ; 

And even to hoar hairs ""will I carry you : 

I have made, and I will bear ; 

Even I will carry, and will deliver you. 
^ * To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal. 

And compare me, that we may be like ? 
^ ^ They lavish gold out of the bag. 

And weigh silver in the balance, 

And hire a goldsmith ; and he maketh it a god : 

They fall down, j^ea, they worship. 
^ ' They bear liim upon the shoulder, they carry him, 

And set him in his place, and he standeth ; 

From his place shall he not remove : 

Yea, "^ one shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, 

Nor save him out of his trouble. 
^ Remember this, and shew yourselves men : 

' Bring it again to mind, ye transgressors. 
^ "" Remember the former things of old : 

For I am God, and " there is none else ; 

I am God, and there is none like me, 
^^ " Declaring the end from the beginning. 

And from ancient times the things that are not yet done. 

Saying, ^ My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure 
'^ Calling a ravenous bird ''from the east, 





1) Jer. 10. 5. 

c Jer. 48. 7. 

\ Heb. their soul. 

d Exod. 19. 4. 
Deut. 1. 31. & 
32 II, 
Ps. 71. 6. 
ch. 63. 9. 
e Ps. 102. 27. 
Mai. 3. 6. 
f Ps. 48. 14. & 
71. 18. 

£ ch. 40. 18, 25 

Ii ch. 40. 19. & 
4 1. 6. & 44. 12, 19. 
Jer. 10. 3. 

Jer. IC. 5. 

k ch. 45. 20. 

1 ch. 44. 19. & 

47. 7. 

in Deut. 32. 7. 

n ch.45. 5, 21. 

o ch. 45. 21. 

p Ps. 33. II. 
Prov. 19. 21. 
& 21.30. 
Acts 5. 39. 
Heb. 6. 17. q ch. 41. 2, 25. 

images, that were once carried by you with joy in festal pro- 
cessions (ep. on Amos v. 26), are now lifted up as loads to be 
carried away on the back of beasts of burden, panting under 
their weight. Cp. Gesen. 640. 

The Peksians, Desteoyees op Idols. 

The Persians were raised up by God to overthrow the 
Idolatry of Babylon, Egypt, and other counti'ies. See Jer. 1. 2 ; 
li. 44. 47; and above, on xix. 3, 4; xlv. 14. It is observed 
by Herodotus (i. 131) as a peculiar characteristic of the Per- 
sians, that they did not erect Temples, Altars, and Images to 
their gods, and that they regarded all representations of the 
godhead as profane. Among the Persian raonarchs Cyrus, 
Cambyses, and Xerxes distinguished themselves by their exter- 
mination of idolatry. Thus the Persian Monarchy prepared 
the way for the reception of a purer faith {Vitringa, Dean 
Jackson ; Staveley on Churches, p. 2). 

The " Wise Men of the East " were probably descended 
from the Magians of Persia. Perhaps Persians were specially 
favoured among the heathen Nations of the world with the 
first sight of the Infant Saviour, by reason of their exemption 
from idolatry. Because they did not bow down before graven 
images, they were guided by the Star to come to Bethlehem, 
and adore God manifest in the flesh. See Matt. ii. 1. 

2. They could not deliver the burden] Your gods could not 
deliver and rescue their own images, which are packed up as 
burdens to be borne away as spoil on the backs of the cattle of 
the Conqueror. 

Vol. V. Paet I. -137 

Heaeken itnto Me and shun Idolatet. 

3, 4. home by me — and will deliver you] Lifted up by Me. 
Observe the contrast. He repeats words from vv. 1, 2. The 
idols of Babylon are lifted up and carried away liy the cattle 
of their enemies from their temples into captivity. But ye 
have been lifted up, and carried by Me, the Living God, even 
as by a nursing Father (Num. xi. 12; below, xlix. 23), from 
your mother's womb, even to your old age. The false gods of 
Babylon could not deliver their own images from bondage. 
But I will deliver you, Israel, from captivity, and restore 
you to your own home. 

Here is a noble comparison between the true God and idols, 
and between the privileges of those who adore the former, and 
the misery of those who worship the latter. Let us listen to 
God's remonstrances on this subject. They are not obsolete. 
No : Idolatry is not extinct; it prevails in heathen lands, which 
are still enveloped in Egyptian darkness. But why speak of 
Heathendom ? " Imagines enim Christi Jesu, Marise Sanc- 
tissimjs Vii'ginis et Sanctorum, in terris quae Eomam agnoscunt 
niiigistram fidei, non minore superstitione, stupore, et furore 
coluntur, quam olim culta fuerunt idola a gcntibus. Plebs 
enim ipsas imagines pro Dlis suis tutelaribus habet, veneratur, 
adorat, et se coram iis prosternit, ut in media Ecclesi^ Christi 
videatur Babylon. Roma ! Roma ! quae ha;c vides, haec 
toleras, banc superstitionem foves, quid respondebis Deo te 
convincenti, te contestanti, per hasce ipsas (Esaise) conciones 
propheticas ?" {Vitringa, p. 518.) 

11. a ravenous bird] An eagle (Heb. ay it). The ensign 

The humiliation 

ISAIAH XLVI. 12, 13. XLVII. 1—8. 

of Babylon, 

t Heb. the man 
of my counsel. 
r ch. 44. 23. & 
45. 13. 

s Num. 23. 19. 
t Ps. 76. 5. 
u Rom. 10. 3. 
xch. 51.5. 
Rom. 1. 17. & 

yHab. 2. 3. 
zch. 62. 11. 

a Jer. 48. 18. 
b ch. 3. 26. 

c Exod. 11.5. 
Judg. 16. 21. 
Matt. 24. 41. 

dch. 3. 17. & 
20. 4. 

Jer. 13. 22, 26. 
Nahum 3. 5. 
e Rom. 12. 19. 
f ch. 43. 3, II. 
Jer. 50. 34. 

g 1 Sam. 2. 9. 

h ver. 7. 

ch. 13. 19. 

Dan. 2. 37. 

i See 2 Sam. 24. 


2 Chron. 28. 9. 

Zech. 1. 15. 

k ch. 43. 28. 

1 Deut. 28. 50. 

ni ver. 5. 
Rev. 18. 7. 
n ch. 46. 8. 

Deut. 32. 29. 

■f The man "■ that executeth my counsel from a far country : 

Yea, ' I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass ; 

I have purposed it, I will also do it. 
^'^ Hearken unto me, ye * stout-hearted, 

" That are far from righteousness : 
^^ '^ I bring near my righteousness ; 

It shall not be far off, and my salvation ^ shall not tarry : 

And I will place ^ salvation in Zion for Israel my glory. 
XLVII. ^ Come ^ down, and *" sit in the dust, 

virgin daughter of Babylon, 

Sit on the ground : there is no throne, 

daughter of the Chaldeans : 

For thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate. 
2 *= Take the millstones, and grind meal : 

Uncover thy locks, make bare the leg. 

Uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers. 
^ ^ Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen : 

^ I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man. 
'* As for ^ our redeemer, the Lord of hosts is his name, 

The Holy One of Israel. 
^ Sit thou ^ silent, and get thee into darkness, daughter of the Chaldeans : 

^ For thou shalt no more be called. The lady of kingdoms. 
^ ' I was wroth with my people, 

^ I have polluted mine inheritance. 

And given them into thine hand : 

Thou didst shew them no mercy ; 

' Upon the ancient hast thou very heavily laid thy yoke. 
7 And thou saidst, I shall be "" a lady for ever : 

So that thou didst not " lay these things to thy heart, 

° Neither didst remember the latter end of it. 
^ Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest 

of Cyrus was an eagle of gold, perched on a lofty spear (Xeno- 
phon, Cyrop. vii. 1. 4). It was a Persian tradition, that Cyrus 
had something of the aspect of an eagle {Plutarch, de Republica 
gerenda, ii. 821), especially that peculiar aquiline feature which 
has been noted as a characteristic of many great conquerors ; 
" Csesnr, Gustavus Adolphus, Napoleon (?), Wellington, Napier " 
{Abp. Trench, Gust. Adolph., p. 46). 

13. my righteeusness'] In Cyrus — and much more in Christ. 
See xli. 2 ; lili. 11 ; Ixiii. 1. 

The Humiliation of Babylon. 
Ch. XLVII.] Having described the ignominious abasement 
of the gods of Babylon, the Prophet proceeds to foretell the 
degradation of the great City herself. 

1. virgin] Beautiful, impregnable, and adorned with jewels. 
Cp. xxxvii. 2. 

— daughter of Babylon] Or, daughter Babylon (the 
genitive is one of apposition). Cp. Ps. cxxxvii. 8. 

— there is no throne] Or, without a throne. 

— Chaldeans] Who were invited by kings of Babylon from 
Mesopotamia, and defended the city against Arabian invaders. 
See Vitringa on xiii. 19 ; and xxiii. 13 ; and xlili. 14. 

2. grind meal] As a slave (Exod. xi. 5. Matt. xxiv. 41). 

— t/ty locks] See on Cant. iv. 1. 3; vi. 7, the only places 
in the Bible beside the present where the word (tsammah) is 
used, and which by Sept., Syriac, Arahic, and many expositors, 
is supposed to mean a veil ; and this seems preferable. 

— make bare the leg] Or rather, tuck up the train, the long 
flowing train of thy royal robe (Qesen. 802 ; Fuerst, 1333). 


— the rivers] Those waters of the Euphrates in which thou 
didst once glory, and in which thou didst place thy trust as thy 
pride and defence. Cp. on Rev. xvi. 12. 

3. I ivill not meet thee as a man] Rather, I shall not 
encounter a man, or, I shall not light upon a man (cp. xiii. 12); 
they will all flee before Me. None of the men of this once 
powerful and populous city, and of its countless allies and 
subjects will dare to resist Me (as Vulg. renders it). Cp. Gen. 
xxviii. 11. 1 Sam. x. 5, where the same word is used, — they 
will all be " like a chased roe " (xiii. 14). 

5. lady of kingdoms] Mistress of kingdoms, "Domina reg- 
norum" (Vulg.). The King of Babylon called himself the 
"Supreme Lord," the "King Vicar" [Oppert, Inscr. de 
Nabuchodonosor, p. 15). Cp. Ezek. xxvi. 7. Dan. ii. 37. 

Such were the titles which the King of Babylon arrogated 
to himself. There is a Spiritual Power in Europe which makes a 
similar claim. Its Supreme Ruler calls himself also the " King 
Vicar;" and when he is crowned, is addressed with these 
words : — " Know that thou art the father of Princes, and of 
Kings, and the Ruler of the World ;" — " Scias te esse Patrem 
principum et regum, Rectorem Orbis." And its seat is the 
mystical Babylon — Rome. May not, therefore, these prophecies 
of Isaiah and of Jeremiah (1., Ii.) have a secondary fulfilment in 
her ? See below, on Rev. xiii.. 14, p. 234 ; and on Rev. xvii., 
pp. 249—252. 

6. Upon the ancient hast thou very heavily laid thy yoke] 
For proofs of Babylon's cruelty to old men, see Lam. iv. 16 ; 
v. 12; and of her inhuman barbarities towards Jerusalem 
generally, see 2 Kings xxv. 5, 6. 26. Jer. 1. 17 ; U. 34. 

The pride, superstition, 


and fall of Baoyion. 

That sayest in thine heart, ^ I am, and none else beside me ; 

'I I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children : 
^ But ' these two things shall come to thee ' in a moment in one day, 

The loss of children, and widowhood : 

They shall come upon thee in their perfection, 

' For the multitude of thy sorceries. 

And for the great abundance of thine enchantments. 
^^ For thou " hast trusted in thy wickedness : 

"" Thou hast said. None seeth me. 

Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath 1| perverted thee ; 

y And thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me. 
' ^ Therefore shall evil come upon thee ; 

Thou shalt not know f from whence it riseth : 

And mischief shall fall upon thee ; thou shalt not be able to f put it off : 

And ^ desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, lohicli thou shalt not know. 
'2 Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, 

"Wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth ; 

If so be thou shalt be able to profit, 

If so be thou mayest prevail. 
^•^ '"" Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. 

Let now '' the f astrologers, the stargazers, f the monthly prognosticators. 

Stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. 
^^ Behold, they shall be *" as stubble ; the fire shall burn them ; 

They shall not deliver f themselves from the power of the flame : 

There shall not he a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it. 
^^ Thus shall they be unto thee with whom thou hast laboured, even ''thy 
merchants, from thy youth : 

p ver. 10. 
Zeph. 2. 15. 
q Rev. 18. 7. 
rch. 51. 19. 
s 1 Thess. 5. 3. 

t Nahum 3. 4. 

u Ps. 52. 7. 

X ch. 29. 15. 
Ezek. 8. 12. & 
9. 9. 

II Or, caused thee 
to turn away, 
y ver. 8. 

+ Heb. the morn- 
iiig thereof. 
t Ileb. expiate. 

z 1 Thess. 5. 3. 

ach. 57. 10. 

b ch. 44. 25. 
Dan. 2. 2. 
t Heb. viewers of 
the heavens. 
t Heb. that giie 
knowledge con- 
cerning the 

c Nahum 1.10. 
Mai. 4. 1. 
t Heb. their 
d Rev. 18. 11. 

8. That sayest in thine heart. Jam, and none else beside me'] 
Thou claimest to thyself the attributes of God. See xlv. 6. 14 ; 
xlvi. 9, where God applies these words to Himself: Thou 
sayest, I shall not sit as a widoio. This was true of the 
literal Babylon ; and it is not less true of that mystical Empire, 
which is called Babylon in the Apocalypse, and asserts itself to 
be supreme. See below, on Rev. xvii. 2 — 6 ; xviii. 7, 8, where 
St. John uses the following language, which bears a striking 
resemblance to the present words of Isaiah : " How much she 
hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment 
and sorrow give her : for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, 
and am no widoio, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall 

- her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine ; 
and she shall be utterly burned with fire." Cp. v. 18 : " What 
city is like unto this great city ! " 

9. For the multitude] Or, notwithstanding the multitude 
{Si/riac, Vitringa, Delitzsch) ; but the text seems better. 

iO. None seeth me] He hath said in his heart, " God hath for- 
gotten : He hideth His face ; He will never see it " (Ps. x. 11). 

— Thy wisdom and thy knoivledge] Babylon was celebrated 
for her manufactures and mechanical inventions, and for her 
cultivation of Arts and Sciences, especially Architecture, Civil 
Engineering, and Fortification, and for her political sagacity, 
as well as Astrology and Magic {Herod, ii. 109; Straho, 
xxi. 1. 6; FUny, N. H. vi. 26; Fiod. Sic. ii.29; Fawlinson, 
Anc. Mon. iii. pp. 376—427); and she vaunted herself on 
these things, and was elated by worldly security, and was 
sti'icken by God with judicial blindness and infatuation, as her 
great King Nebuchadnezzar was, in the zenith of his glory 
(Dan. iv. 22- 33. Cp. below, Jer. 1. 35 ; li. 57). 

11. Thou shalt not know from lohence it riseth] Literally, 
thou shalt not know its dawn, its day-hrealc. So Vulg,, and 
Arabic, and Vitringa, With all thy magical arts thou shalt 
not be able to divine the dawning of that day, — the day of 
thine own destruction, — nor the quarter from which it will 
arise. Cp. v. 13. This was signally fulfilled. Babylon was 
taken by Cyrus in a night of revelry, when she was celebrating 
a religious anniversary, and was praising her gods, whom she 

imagined to have made her invincible and impregnable (see on 
xlvi. 1). The enemy came upon her, not by any assault upon 
her walls, but they suddenly emerged in the very heart of the 
city by means of the dried-up channel of the Euphrates, which 
she fondly regarded as her bulwark and her glory. See xxi. 5 — 9. 
Such will probably be the destruction of the mystical 
Babylon. It will come upon her when least expected, and 
by means which seemed most imlikely. Cp. on xxi. 5 — 9, and 
on Eev. xvi. 12. 

— to put it off] To expiate it. With all the sacrificial obla- 
tions to the multitude of thy gods thou wilt not be able to 
avert it. As to the sense of the verb, see Prov. xvi. 14. Qesen. 

— desolation] A storm of devastation (Ps. xxxv. 8). 

13. astrologers] Literally, the dividers of the heavens, with 
the astrologer's or augur's wand : 

" Coelique meatus 
Describent radio, et surgentia sidera dicent." 

Virg. M\x, vi. 851. 

Cp. Qesen. '2,Vo ; and Fawlinson, Anc. Mon. iii. 415— 427, on 
the Uranography and Astrology of the Babylonians. _ 

— monthly prognosticators] Those who prognosticate at the 
new moons. Cp. Eaivlinson, iii. 418 — 422, on the Babylonish 
observations of the course of the moon. 

14. the fire shall burn them] When Cyrus and his forces 
made an irruption into Babylon, he ordered them to set fire to 
the houses, which were very combustible, the doors being made 
of palm wood, smeared over with bitumen, and the roofs covered 
with reeds {Xenophon, Cyrop. vii. 5. Cp. above, on xxi. 5). 

So it is foretold by St. John in the Apocalypse, concerning 
the mystical Babylon, that it wiU be burnt with fire. See 
below, on Rev. xvii. 16 ; xviii. 18. 

— There shall not be a coal to warm at — to sit before it] 
Rather, it is not a coal to warm oneself at, a fire to sit before 
it. No ; but it is a coal to scorch, and a fire to consume them. 
Cp. xliv. 16. 

15. thy merchants] Who traded with Babylon by land and 

T 2 

Let Israel shun idols 


atid adore God. 





aPs. 68. 26. 

bDeut. 6. 13. 
ch. 65. 16. 
Zeph. 1.5. 

c Jer. 4. 2. & b. 2 
dch. 52. 1. 

e Micah 3. 11. 
Rom. 2. ir. 

f ch.41.22. & 
42. 9. & 43. 9. & 
44. 7, 8. &45. 21. 
& 46. 9, 10. 

g Josh. 21. 45. 

t Heb. hard. 

h Exod. 32. 9. 
Deut. 31. 27. 

i ver. 3. 

k Ps. 5S. 3. 

1 Ps. 79. 9. & 

106. 8. 

ch. 43. 25. 

ver. 11. Ezek. 20 

They shall wander every one to his quarter ; 
None shall save thee. 
XLVIII. ' Hear ye this, house of Jacob, 
Which are called by the name of Israel, 
And ^ are come forth out of the vraters of Judah, 
'' Which swear by the name of the Lord, 
And make mention of the God of Israel, 
•" But not in truth, nor in righteousness ; 

2 For they call themselves "* of the holy city, 
And ^ stay themselves upon the God of Israel ; 
The Lord of hosts is his name. 

3 f I have declar